Sole Source Authority for Women Business Owners

Women-owned small businesses realized a huge victory with the Sept. 11, 2015 announcement by the Small Business Administration (SBA), effective October 14th, allows for the use of sole source authority in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program.

The FY15 National Defense Authorization Act provided agencies with statutory authority to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) through the WOSB Federal Contract Program. Currently, the WOSB program is the only major small business contracting program without this authority – putting women entrepreneurs at a distinct disadvantage. Instead, the WOSB program has a limited ability to set-aside contracts, only allowed when multiple women-owned firms signaled they would compete for the contract.


The SBA final rule is expected to be effective and available for use by federal agencies on October 14, 2015.   Similar to other small business contracting programs, WOSB sole source contracts will be limited to certain sizes. For manufacturing contracts that cap is $6.5 million, while all other contracts have a cap of $4 million.


Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) has championed this issue over the years and applauds the Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and legislators such as Senators Maria Cantwell, Jeanne Shaheen and Representative Jackie Speier for their leadership and efforts to bring parity to women contractors.

I am directly involved WIPP as its Educational Foundation Chairmen and applaud the tenacious efforts of the entire WIPP community in this accomplishment! Now let’s build business!

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