What is a WOSB?

We have heard a lot of buzz about WOSB and the new regulations just passed. So what is a WOSB exactly?  It’s the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program, helping women entrepreneurs access the federal market. The program, officially launched in 2011 and recently in 2014, now has a provision authorizing sole-source contracts within the program.  That’s great news!

Over the past years, only 1% of women-owned-small-businesses contracts came from WOSB set-asides. This was the main reason why small companies owned by women found the government contracting industry disheartening despite the fact the newly reformed WOSB set-aside program.

Well in 2015, the government has extremely high hopes of reaching the 5% goal of awarded contracts to women-owned-small-businesses (WOSBs), in which had undoubtedly failed since the authorization of WOSB set-asides in 2000.

To meet and exceed its expectations the government points to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which included a provision that authorizes the sole-source contracts of up to $4 million for other industries and up to $6.5 million for manufacturing for both women-owned-small-businesses (WOSBs) and economically-disadvantaged-women-owned-small-businesses (EDWOSBs). Out of $52.6 billion government contracting dollar, imagine the opportunities within the scope of the 5% contracts for WOSBs. That’s roughly $2.6 billion. Now, how can you be part of it?


As a company under the women-owned-small-businesses (WOSBs) umbrella, you can successfully be awarded the elusive government contract/s by either becoming a prime contractor or a subcontractor of larger companies. Either way, you must be familiar with these steps required to participate in the WOSB program.

Additionally, knowing the government agencies that are friendly to women-owned-small-businesses is a great way to understand the competition and get in the game.

Here are the industries eligible for WOSB set-aside government contracts listed by the first 4 digits of their respective NAICS code:


2213 Water, Sewage and Other systems 5417 Scientific Research and Development Services
2372 Land Subdivision 4885 Freight Transportation Arrangement
2361 Residential Building Construction 5418 Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
3152 Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing 5121 Motion Picture and Video Industries
2371 Utility System Construction 5615 Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services
3231 Printing and Related Support Activities 5311 Lessors of Real Estate
2381 Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors 5619 Other Support Services
3259 Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing 5413 Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
2382 Building Equipment Contractors 5621 Waste Collection
3328 Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities 5414 Specialized Design Services
2383 Building Finishing Contractors 5622 Waste Treatment and Disposal
3329 Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 5415 Computer Systems Design and Related Services
2389 Other Specialty Trade Contractors 6114 Business Schools and Computer and Management Training
3371 Household & Institutional Furniture & Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing 5416 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
3149 Other Textile Product Mills 6115 Technical and Trade Schools
3372 Office Furniture (including Fixtures) Manufacturing 5419 Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
3159 Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing 6117 Educational Support Services
3391 Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing 5611 Office Administrative Services
3219 Other Wood Product Manufacturing 6242 Community Food and Housing, and Emergency & Other Relief Services
4841 General Freight Trucking 5612 Facilities Support Services
3222 Converted Paper Product Manufacturing 6243 Vocational Rehabilitation Services
4889 Other Support Activities for Transportation 5614 Business Support Services
3321 Forging and Stamping 7211 Traveler Accommodation
4931 Warehousing and Storage 5616 Investigation and Security Services
3323 Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing 8112 Electronic and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance
5111 Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers 5617 Services to Buildings and Dwellings
3324 Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container Manufacturing 8129 Other Personal Services
5112 Software Publishers 6116 Other Schools and Instruction
3333 Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing 8139 Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations
5171 Wired Telecommunications Carriers 6214 Outpatient Care Centers
3342 Communications Equipment Manufacturing 6219 Other Ambulatory Health Care Services
5172 Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) 7115 Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
3345 Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, & Control Instruments Manufacturing 7223 Special Food Services
5179 Other Telecommunications 8111 Automotive Repair and Maintenance
3346 Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media 8113 Commercial & Industrial Machinery & Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair & Maintenance
5182 Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services 8114 Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance
3353 Electrical Equipment Manufacturing 3369 Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
5191 Other Information Services 5324 Commercial & Industrial Machinery & Equipment Rental & Leasing
3359 Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing 4842 Specialized Freight Trucking
5312 Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers 5411 Legal Services
5412 Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, & Payroll Services 4881 Support Activities for Air Transportation
4884 Support Activities for Road Transportation


Women-owned-small-businesses (WOSBs) that are really serious about doing business with the government now have a better chance at succeeding with the new regulations in place.


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