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WBENC certification is one of the most widely recognized and respected certifications in the nation. Accepted by hundreds of corporations within the country and several federal, state, and local government agencies. The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council is one of the 14 certifying partner organizations.

Great Lakes WBC Certification process

WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) Certification

Step One apply for WBE certification. This certification program was created to meet the need for a national standard of certification for businesses owned, managed, and controlled by women who want to market their products and services in America’s major markets.

The WBENC certification administered through the Great Lakes WBC for women business enterprises is the leading national third-party certification of women business owners. Accepted by thousands of corporations throughout the country and a number of federal and government agencies, your WBENC certification will be an important marketing tool for expanding your company’s visibility among decision-makers in corporate procurement.

A Women’s Business Enterprise, commonly referred to as a WBE, is an independent business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or Legal Resident Aliens; whose business formation and principal place of business are in the U.S. or its territories; and whose management and daily operation is controlled by a woman with industry expertise. NOTE: A WBE is the business, not the individual.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certification (Optional Add-On)

Step Two apply for optional WOSB certification. WBE certification must be approved or in the process before you can apply for a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification. This is part of the SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting Program. WOSB certification allows access to federal contracting opportunities.

If certification is granted, the owner and contact on file will receive an email informing them the company has been granted certification. If certification is denied, the owner will receive a certified letter.


Qualifying your business as a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) can increase contracting opportunities with major corporations. Many corporations require that you be certified before they extend an opportunity to you. We provide nationally accepted certification of women-owned businesses in the private sector.

Benefits of WBENC Certification

  • National recognition as a certified WBE by more than 1,000 major U.S. corporations representing thousands of well-known brands and government agencies
  • Access to a current list of supplier diversity and procurement professionals at these same companies
  • Automatic inclusion in WBENCLink, our National database of 13,000+ certified women business enterprises
  • Use of the WBE Certified Logo on your marketing materials
  • Invitations to regional & national events, webinars, and training
  • Eligibility to exhibit at national and regional business expos
  • Qualified, certified WBEs are eligible for Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification recognized by the federal government

Learn what it means to be WBENC certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). If you have a product or service that you would like to market to American corporations, here is your chance to explore certification.

Fee Structure

The certification and re-certification fee structure is based on the average sales for the company for the last three years and is paid annually at the time of renewal. This is a non-refundable processing fee.

The fees include your annual fee for membership which offers you discounts on events. 

Average SalesFee
$1 Million$350
$1-5 Million$500
$5-10 Million$750
$10-50 Million$1000
$50 Million +$1250