Woman Business Enterprises

What is Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification and what advantages does it give your small business?

As a woman-owned business, you may have been directed to certification by your clients. If you are a woman-owned business that is in the transportation industry, for instance, then you may have a client is looking for a woman-owned company to perform a certain percentage of their work. Since they already know, like and trust you, they may encourage you to get the certification so they can "check the box" so to speak. In other cases, a woman-owned business will seek out certifications with the hope that it will yield opportunities. Depending on where you go to gain the certification will determine what types of opportunities you can expect to get.

There are usually WBE certifications available at the State, County or City level. These certifications are particularly useful if your company is looking for contracts with those agencies. WBE certifications can also be obtained on a National level by various certifying agencies. The main national certifying agencies are the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Women's Business Owners Council (NWBOC) and the United States Women's Chamber of Commerce (USWCC).

Certification from the aforementioned agencies will oftentimes, allow you to streamline the process with other agencies. The SBA's Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program, for instance, allows WBE certification from one of these companies to be considered 3rd party verification. This 3rd party verification greatly reduces the amount of documentation that is required to certify a business entity as a WOSB.

Another great benefit of certification from these agencies is their extensive corporate memberships. These agencies have relationships with major corporations that are looking to procure goods and services from women-owned businesses. A lot of the Fortune 500 companies will participate in some form of diversity procurement efforts because it's a Win-Win proposition for the company. It is good for the small business community when contracts are awarded to small local business. The benefits to the company are several; the corporation will often get tax incentives if thresholds are met with their procurement needs, the company gets the positive public perception by buying from small business, and the shareholders benefit from the positive public image by increasing stock prices

So not only can certification assist you in obtaining Federal, State County and city contracts, but also in the commercial sector.Gaining your WBE certification is not nearly as arduous and in depth as some of the others. So, if you think it could provide you with a competitive advantage, then educate yourself on the process or Certification Consultants LLC to see if we can assist you.

What is Time to the Woman Business and Spiritual Leader?

While contemplating what I would write about this week, I was reminded about how often I seem to 'run out of time'. As any true blooded entrepreneur and a woman in service, I often 'bite off more than I can chew" which I have heard my mother remind me of since I was a child.

Like many women, I have numerous obligations, fill multiple roles, and have projects with deadlines... all of which require the use of time... which I never seem to have enough of.

Many spiritual traditions do not believe in "time" as we know it; linear and able to be calculated, and that is a subject for a whole other article (or book!). Rather than waxing philosophical, I will inject a lighter note:

I love this story to which I believe we all might be able to relate (at least at some point in our lives).

A woodcutter, who is constantly exhausted by his frantic chopping all through the day, is afraid to stop knowing he has many obligations to fulfill. A friend comes by one day to talk with him about his exhausting work and to ask the woodcutter if he could inspect his axe.

After running his fingers up and down the blade, he advises his friend to take a few minutes to sharpen his axe; "your work will be easier and go more quickly". To which the woodcutter replied, "I can't... I just don't have the time"...

How many of us have been where the woodcutter is? I have to admit that this is often a familiar scenario for me. The mind-set of the woodcutter is such that he cannot see the forest for the tree (pardon the pun). I can get so dug in to what I am doing and to what still remains to be accomplished within given time frames that I often fail to see that I have a "dull axe"... even when people point it out to me!

In order to 'sharpen the axe' what can I do to have more time to accomplish what I have committed to?

1. When awakening, while in that state before full consciousness, I can begin with connecting to my Deity and surrendering my day and all of its activities to Divine guidance

2. Although challenging for me who has "done so much on my own" (or so I think), I can exercise my trust muscle. Surrendering to Divine guidance requires trust.

3. Sometime before I start my work, I can engage in a spiritual practice; studying in the faith of my choosing, reading inspirational material, journaling, engaging in yoga, (or others), meditation, contemplation, prayer...

4. Throughout the day (especially when I feel stressed and under pressure), I can take a few minutes to leave my desk (or the place of my work) and intentionally return to a state of peace. 5 - 10 minutes outside in nature, relaxing with a favorite cup of brew, or playing my favorite music (how 'bout a little dancing?)

5. And let me not forget the importance of preparing for sleep... A review of the day's accomplishments, and not what I didn't do or that still remains to be done, in a state of gratitude for those accomplishments will develop my trust muscle. After all, this is a process!

I am sure you can think of ways that you personally might 'sharpen your axe'.

Ruth Reiner is an ordained minister in the Interfaith tradition, spiritual counselor, professional nurse, certified life coach, and successful entrepreneur. She is president and co-founder of 'The International Association of Women Spiritual Leaders'. Ruth has two adult daughters with families/four grandchildren.

Woman Business Loans UK - Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs

Women of UK have proofed their rights and existence not only in family limitations but also in corporate sector. They had well established themselves in every sector and had given fruitful results and had set examples not to give hope. Thus, to create every possible opportunity for women, funds are advanced in the form of loans. With the help of women business loans UK, they can set a business of their own rather then rely on somebody.

The objectives and aims of women business loans UK is to finance for setting up a new business, use the fund to expand the existing business, to takeover another business, purchase equipments or machineries for business and paying business dues. Despite the mentioned objectives, women can use the loan to meet every business related ends.

In UK, lenders have come up with women business loans UK to provide advance with competitive rates. The applicants need to search in the competitive market the low offers, favourable terms and also suitable according to financial ability and then she can click on for a reliable deal.

Women business loans UK are classified into two options like any other loans: secured and unsecured loans. In secured option, applicants have to place collateral for approval of the loans. This option can be availed by those women who have collateral to place. Collateral accepted are home, car, land, estate etc. Applicants can secure large amount of loan under this option for a long repayment term. And women without or unwilling to place collateral can apply for unsecured women business loans UK.

The UK women can also avail the women business loans UK through online mode. Approaching a lender and approval becomes much simpler and convenient through this mode. It is a low cost application method, faster than tradition method and moreover saves time. The female applicant can approach despite their bad credit score but with a little high rate of interest than offered to a good credit scorer. The female business entrepreneurs can improve their financial status by being regular in the instalments.

Thus, women business loans UK helps every women applicant to establish their own identity through business sector.

A Great Time To Be a Woman Business Owner

I have been a business owner since 2001. If you are woman business owner, this is your year, this is your time to get serious about local, state and federal prime and sub-contracting opportunities. If you live near a major urban area, first look into certification within the nearest city.

For example, I live just north of Houston, so because I live in an adjoining county, Montgomery, my business is eligible to apply for certification with the City of Houston. The application did take time, but it was worth it. My company is certified Woman-owned and Disadvantage Business Enterprise. The certification acronym is W/DBE. The City offers certification for women and minority business owners.

The City has agreements with several other municipal-based organizations, so in addition to being able to bid on set-aside contracts at the City, I can also bid on Port Authority of Houston, and METRO. The City has agreements with the Texas Unified Certification Program, so my company is also recognized with the state level - Texas Department of Transportation.

Note: Another perk for women business owners who are TXDOT DBE certified in highway construction codes can qualify for up to $10K in training through the TXDOT Technical Assistance Program (TXDOT TAP). I challenge you to find the local contracting agency and start your application asap.

At the state level, Texas offers a program called Texas HUB - Historically Underutilized Businesses. This is currently available to women and minority business owners, but in 2011 they are considering opening it up to Service Disabled Veterans as well. Check out if your state offers a special certification for women business owners.

And now at the federal level, there are two SBA programs to consider applying to: Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) and the SBA 8(a) program. If your business is currently certified as a SBA 8(a) business, you will be eligible for the new WOSB certification as well. Check out both of these programs at the SBA government website. Expect to wait about 90 days (at the least) to hear back from the SBA on 8(a) certification, there is a back log ever since all of the new federal programs opened up with the new administration.

As a SBA certified business, you are eligible to bid on big dollar contracts. However you will most likely find a niche to work as a subcontractor to a prime, because you need to build a track record of federal work. And of course, the primes are looking for good subcontractors because they get incentives from the government to include small business participation.

Increase Sales Tip - Form an Alliance with a Woman Business Owner

Women Business Owners are an ever growing and dynamic force. Did you know that profit under women owned firms grew at a faster rate than all other firms?

Maybe you were not aware that women controlled or owned 40% of all privately held U.S. firms and these women owned businesses grew at twice the rate of other business during the last 10 years?

So if you want to increase sales, then forming an alliance with a woman business owner makes a lot of sense. However, the alliance needs to be strategic.

Strategy has a Latin origin and means to out think the enemy. So, you should begin with your strategic plan and look specifically to your vision, values and current mission.

Then, review your marketing plan and sales plan. Look to your demographics, geographic and psycho graphics. Think about complementary businesses as well as those that you might even consider competitors.

If this is the right strategy for you, then how do you find the right woman owned business? Many states have women business owned certifications. By visiting the state website, you may be able to locate woman owned businesses. Certification suggests that the company is for real and has been evaluated on some level.

If that strategy is not viable, then look through local chambers of commerce directors and identify the owner. In many cases, you can quickly determine ownership of the business. Make an outreach to these women business owners again based on your strategic plan.

At networking events, move out of our comfort zone and talk to women to learn if they are business owners. Show an authentic interest in what they are doing. If there is a connection, suggest meeting over a cup of coffee to learn more about each other's businesses and how the two of you can help each other.

Additionally, linking with permission of course to a woman business owner's website is another strategy. This linking works well especially if it is reciprocal.

What ever strategy or strategies you select, forming a strategic alliance with a woman in business may just help you increase sales. And how knows, you may actually begin to see increases in some other business indicators such as profits and longevity.

Small Woman Business Loans - A New Achievement

It can be seen that women are going the way of starting their business alone and going all the way to establish themselves. Today more and more people are moving away from traditional employments which get oneself a regular paycheck every month. The lenders are providing small woman business loans to set up things initially and manage things for some time before the income from the business starts pouring in.

Small woman business loans are of unsecured nature and their rates are slightly higher than normal loans. These loans require no security to be provided by the borrower to the lender. These loans are of crucial help to those not having a large capital base to fund their business on their own. Small woman business loan is also helpful to those who do not have a property of their own which can be placed against any collateral and those who want to start their business from the scratch or wish to expand their existing business with the help of small woman business loan.

This loan is designed specifically for self employed women, who want to start a business of their own. One can go for secured loan but that would not be beneficial for those women who are in the initial years of staring their business. One needs to apply for this type of loan with some documents related to business proof. Business profile document is the most important document to be submitted. It contains the details of the business plan and a statement of how one wants to achieve the plan. Another important document which is required for availing this loan is the loan request document. It contains the amount to be borrowed, the period for which the loan is required and any special conditions that one wishes that the lender should bear in mind before issuing the loan amount. One can repay the loan according to one's convenience. Thus, it ensures flexibility.

If one already has an existing business and want to have small woman business loan to expand it, one need to submit the financial statements of the business. These documents contain the balance sheets and statement of the flow of cash among others. Lenders consider these statements to calculate financial position and stability. A clean credit record is mandatory. People with bad credit history like arrears, payment defaults etc are not considered eligible for these types of loans. Some states and cities have loan programs, which are targeted towards providing assistance to women. It should be kept in mind that if one lives in a community property state, then the spouse must also personally guarantee the loan. Application form can be downloaded through online process. It saves time and efforts as there is no paperwork involved in it. These loans are very helpful for women who need funds for starting a business of their own and fall short of funds.

Woman Business Loans - Making A Platform For Woman

Many renowned organisations are guided by women and they act as strong pillar of the venture. Their success and reputation has kindled other women to jump in this profession and attain such achievements. For this reason the woman business loans are crafted. This loan scheme supports the fair sex financially to set or start their venture and take it to their expectations.

The commercial funds are offered into two forms: secured and unsecured. Secured form is a large amount of loan and is related to collateral. Borrowers can easily repay the loan because the repayment is stretched from 10-25 year. If applicants are unable to pledge collateral then they can procure funds through the unsecured loans. The latter form is a worry free loan for borrowers and released with a short repayment term of 1-10 years. The offers and benefits are open for all sorts of credit holders. So, if you are struggling with bad credit or no credit status then also you can obtain the capitals.

The funds support the borrowers to execute multiple business ends. For instance: purchasing of commercial sites, machineries, recruitment expenses, salary of employees, raw materials, maintenance of office and as related are some that can be executed in a single loan. The funds can also be invested in shares and stocks. To your astonishment all such demands can be fulfilled at reasonable cost i.e interest rates. In the market, process of availing finance by lenders has become simple and easy because numerous lenders have emerged in the market. With the emergence of numerous lenders competitive atmosphere has developed. Therefore, if applicants collate loan quotes and contrast the various offers then they can mark figures suitable for their budget. Moreover, such loans are tax saving and saves a loan amount from being taxed.

Easiest way of procuring the loan is using the e-application method. This electronic widget cuts down the burden of paper-work and enables the users to access the amount within less time spend.

So, woman business loans can now easily shape their dreams and establish themselves as symbols of success.

Woman Business Loans - Get Funds For Business Development

Recently a survey proved that the percentage of women business entrepreneurs have risen to an outstanding level. Several women are opting for the field of business management as their occupation. And this all has become possible due to their magnificent efforts and proactive attitude towards the work. However, besides these attributes, another important thing that equally supported their remarkable performance is the availability of encouraging financial solutions. Woman business loans is one such reliable financial aid that aims to offer substantial monetary assistance to women, so that they can plan their business strategies in a more meticulous manner without getting worried about the arrangement of funds.

Owing to the need and ability of the borrowers, woman business loans are provided under both the categories of secured and unsecured loans. Hence, those women, who have the privilege of owning a property and are ready to offer it as security against the loan demand can procure the facility of secured woman business loans, whereas, borrowers who do not have the provision of collateral can feel secure with the availability of unsecured form of this loan. Moreover, no barriers have been placed for the low credit scorers and even they are allowed to apply for this loan on similar terms and conditions as the good credit holders. Hence, it would not be not incorrect to state the fact that every kind of borrower, can utilize the assistance of this powerful financial resource.

However, to gain the benefits of woman business loans, woman entrepreneurs are expected to fulfill a certain criteria. First of all, they are supposed to make a concrete, succinct business profile that mainly carries all the required information about their business plans, strategies and profit aspects. This profile should be informative enough to convince the lenders. In addition to this, other mandatory pre requisites of being an adult and having a substantial source of income will also be taken into consideration by the lender to judge the repayment ability of the borrower. Therefore, if you are also wondering for a good monetary assistance to bring necessary amendments in your business organization, then moving towards the option of woman business loans can stand as a fruitful idea.

Interested applicants can easily access woman business loans through banks, finance companies and money lending agencies. Try to contact finance consultancies to gather contact details about these reliable lenders. Once you shortlist the category of your preferred lenders, you can place your demand of free quotes by filling up the requisition form. These quotations, in turn will help you in selecting the most suitable loan deal from an appropriate lender. After this accomplishment, the remaining task of drafting an application is nothing more than a job of few clicks. You simply have to log on to the website of your chosen lender, where the online application form would be available. Fill up this form with your correct personal and employment details and get the loan amount deposited into your bank account in the shortest possible duration.

The Instincts of a Woman Business Owner - Four Tips to Tap Into YourSecret "Intuition" Weapon

For a woman business owner, much of running a business can be based on intuition. Without using some of these innate skills, a woman business owner can find her job much more challenging. Many of these essential abilities, the so-called women's intuition, can be an advantage for female leaders.

There's a difference between a woman business owner using her intuition and taking unnecessary risks. When evaluating a business, it is important not to think of risk taking or intuition as a single event. After all, taking chances is a process that should never end for a woman business owner who's interested in growth and success. A good way of thinking about this strategy is to compare yourself to an athlete. What is necessary in order for you to compete and reduce the risk of failing by using your intuition?

First, practice putting your intuition to good use. A woman business owner needs to practice in order to hone her skills. Doing so repeatedly will not only enable learning but build confidence, as improvements come with each attempt. The 26.2 mile running marathon as well as the business "success" marathon both require taking risks, pushing yourself and practicing until you have the stamina and confidence to finish "the race."

Secondly, intuition in a vacuum will not work. A woman business owner needs to get input from others. However, this can be difficult for she is often spending most of her time working on where she wants the business to go and not enough time bringing people along with her. Remembering to ensure that everyone is with you in the present will help avoid some of the possible problems in the future. Get the right input in order to make the right decisions about your intuitions.

Thirdly, you need to view your intuition in the proper perspective. When you have a moment, step back and look at the whole picture. Ask yourself as a woman business owner, what you want your business to look like. What is going to help you get there? What's keeping you from getting to the next level? What does your intuition tell you? Does it seem right? Feel right in your gut? Once you have figured out, go after it.

Fourthly while having a rough idea about plans for the future, looking for new ideas needs to be a constant, never-ending process and a vital part of your business. Business is not static. A woman business owner needs to continually look ahead. What does your intuition tell you about the next 2-3 years? What new ideas or offerings should you be considering. Using your intuition to balance new ideas in the context of your business strategy will lead to the most positive results.

Many women naturally have some of these instincts that put to use can help their businesses. However, they can be cultivated just like any other skills. You have used your intuition to get to where you are so you have proof that it works for you. Now you just need to practice using it, get feedback on how it might impact your business, put it in the proper perspective and leverage it to continually bring in and evaluate new ideas.
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