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Business Certifications
for Government & Corporate Contracts 


Looking to increase your competitive edge and obtain new contracts? Your company may be eligible for business certification to compete for government and corporate set-aside contracts.  


The federal government sets aside approximately $115 billion annually in contracts primarily for certified women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned small businesses (including service-disabled), and other categories. Generally, FORTUNE 1000 corporations also set aside contracts in similar categories. 

Getting Certified Zoom_edited.jpg

Although there are 44,000 women-owned businesses in Hawaii, only 23 are certified women-owned businesses, according to WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council). Our Business Center’s goal is to grow that number. Small businesses can indeed compete for government and corporate contracts.  


Our trainings can help guide the way. For information about our next business certification webinars and training cohorts, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

Note: The Business Center does not endorse any third parties by providing information or links, which are only for reference and convenience. The links may go to third-party websites, which the Business Center does not control or manage. 

Business Certification Training - Cohort 1

Government Contract Certifications

Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certification or Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB):   

  • Click here to learn about WOSBs and EDWOSBs from the Small Business Administration, including benefits, eligibility and certifications. For a list of qualifying NAICS codes for WOSB & EDWOSB including a downloadable document, click here. The list is maintained by the SBA and subject to change. At last count, there are 457 NAICS codes for WOSBs and 80 codes for EDWOSBs.​


Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Certification: 

  • Click here to learn about VOSBs from the Small Business Administration, including qualifications and surplus personal property programs.   

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Certification: 

  • Click here to learn about HUBZones from the Small Business Administration, including benefits, qualifications and certification.   

Corporate Contract Certifications

Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification:

  • Click here for information from Women Business Enterprise (WBE)/ Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), including required application documents.  


Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification:

  • Click here for information from National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), including required application documents.  

Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) Certification: 

  • Click here for information from National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA), including required application documents.  

Getting SBA Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business:
Opening New Doors of Opportunity

Click here for a synopsis of the Q&A presentation and additional resources from the seminar.

In the introductory seminar, business owners learned about the benefits of becoming certified as a woman owned small business (WOSB). MEDB was joined by guest speakers from MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center at YWCA O‘ahu, Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and others who shared:

  • How certification as a WOSB will open doors for your business

  • How to access contracts and grants exclusive to a WOSB

  • A quick highlight of the steps in the process

Further workshops will help participants leverage their SBA certification to take advantage of the opportunities with various agencies available to a WOSB.

Kickoff Presentation in the Women in Business Seminar Series

Second Workshop in the Women in Business Seminar Series

To learn more about business certifications, check out this video from the second workshop in the Women in Business Seminar Series, hosted by Maui Economic Development Board, with support of County of Maui.

Forty-two small business owners joined in to listen to Dr Pamela Williamson, CEO of WBEC-West (Women’s Business Enterprise Council) talk about the process of applying to be certified as Minority Owned Small Business (MOSB) which includes Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Veteran’s Owned Small Businesses (VOSB). Dr Williamson was joined by Wayne Wong, Director of Hawaii Small Business Development Center - Maui who shared important SBA details and resources.

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