Bop Design has been a woman-owned business from its inception in 2009. Several years ago, we elected to go through the official process of becoming a WBENC certified business.
What is WBENC?
WBENC (pronounced WE-BANK) is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and is the leading authority in the US on certifying companies and organizations for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs).
Getting WBENC Certification means that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman. According to WBENC’s website, “one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise.”
Why we wanted to do it:
We are proud to be woman-owned and operated and actively work to develop strong women leaders at Bop Design, so getting certified is aligned with our values as an organization.
In addition, other benefits include:
- Access to supplier diversity programs
- Access to programs, mentoring, capacity development programs, and other business tools
- Access to a network of likeminded business leaders
These were our core reasons for wanting to get certified, but there are many benefits – you can explore them all here.
What the WBENC certification process looks like:
Getting WBENC certified isn’t an easy process. In fact, we hired a consultant to help navigate the process, which takes about 4 to 5 months to complete. Here’s what it looks like:
- First, you have to determine if you are eligible. The eligibility requirements include 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated by a woman. They must have unrestricted control of the business, manage day-to-day operations and have a “proportionate investment of capital or expertise.”
- Second, you must compile all the documentation. This includes a mountain of paperwork such as financials, corporate minutes, corporate structure, sworn affidavits, passports, birth certificates, tax returns, banking documents, payroll reports, service agreements, etc. It’s extremely extensive documentation.
- Next, once you have all your documentation ready, you must submit an extensive application and a processing fee. The WBENC regional partner organization then reviews all the documentation and sees if you meet the criteria.
- If you meet the criteria, the next stage is an onsite visit and interview with two WBENC regional partner organization leaders. During this interview, they ask plenty of questions to see if you genuinely are 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman and ask for additional documentation. You provide them with a tour of your office.
- Final Determination is the last step. The regional partner committee thoroughly reviews your application, documentation, interview, and site visit and determines if you meet the criteria to be WBENC certified. Once they do, you get approval and are officially certified.
Once you are WBENC certified, you have to get recertified every year. The recertification process is much simpler. At Bop Design, we are proud to be women-owned and WBENC certified.
For additional information visit: https://www.wbenc.org/