WBENC: The label promoting female entrepreneurship

Promoting and facilitating the development of women-owned businesses

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is an American non-profit organization who aims to promote women-owned enterprises and facilitate their development. It is also most widely recognized and respected national certification in the U.S. for women-owned businesses. wbenc label

In recent years, there has been a notable surge in the number of women venturing into entrepreneurship, marking a positive shift in the business landscape. Despite this encouraging trend, women entrepreneurs continue to grapple with a myriad of challenges that pose significant hurdles to the success and sustainability of their businesses. 


Key challenges for women entrepreneurs

Limited funding

One of the foremost challenges confronting women in business is the issue of limited funding. Unlike their male counterparts, many women lack access to investors or financiers, compelling them to bootstrap their ventures or resort to personal financing options such as credit cards. Funding is usually obtained through mingling, however many women are excluded from networks (who are often male dominated) due to gender biases. 

Lack of support

A lack of guidance is also a big issue in women’s advancement in entrepreneurship; While it is necessary for an entrepreneur to be surrounded by an adequate support system to implement the right business strategies, yet 48% of female entrepreneurs lack competent advisors to guide them through tough decision-making. (Forbes). The reason being is that mentors and sponsors often come with a hefty price tag, one that most female entrepreneurs, who are less likely to receive funding, cannot afford.  

The repercussions of the lack of guidance

The lack of appropriate support translates directly into limited access to knowledge and information.

Unfortunately, limited access to information, exacerbated by competitive environments, poses a hindrance. wbenc label

While attempts to implement laws and policies fostering an inclusive business environment were made, substantive changes are yet to materialize.  

Despite these challenges, women exhibit resilience by actively seeking relevant and practical information to empower themselves in their entrepreneurial pursuits. 

WBENC Events

WBENC believes diversity drives innovation, opens doors, and builds partnerships that fuel economic growth, therefore the non-profit offers training programs and hosts networking events dedicated to women-owned enterprises, to advance women’s success in entrepreneurship, and debunk gendered prejudices. wbenc label

During these events, WBENC connects these enterprises with purchasers from major corporations and public entities through its networking events, such as conferences and workshops. The education programs the association provides are designed to provide women-owned businesses with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the business world. 

Training programs offered by WBENC 


WeTHRIVE is an all-virtual executive education program designed to meet WBEs (Women-Owned Enterprise) where they are today and position them to grow and thrive for the future. The program covers essential business disciplines, including leadership, communication, financial management, marketing and sales, operations, and human resources. WeTHRIVE also provides WBEs with access to a network of mentors and peers, as well as opportunities to network with other WBEs. 

WeIGNITE, Powered by EOS® 

A two-day program that teaches WBEs how to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®). It is a set of simple, practical tools that help entrepreneurs and leadership teams improve the operational value of their companies, which will subsequently increase their profitability, reduce their stress, and free up more time to focus on growing their businesses. 

WBENC Energy Executive Program

The WBENC Energy Executive Program is a highly interactive and immersive executive education experience focused on driving development of women’s business enterprise (WBE) leaders within the Energy Industry. The program covers a range of topics relevant to the energy industry, including leadership, strategy, marketing, operations, and financial management. The program also provides WBEs with the opportunity to network with other WBEs in the energy industry. 

Integrated Financial Education and Funding for Women Entrepreneurs

WBENC also offers a variety of financial education programs and workshops for WBEs. These programs can help WBEs understand financial concepts, develop financial plans, and access funding opportunities. WBENC also partners with financial institutions to provide loans and other financing options to WBEs. 

To have access to a wide network of diverse suppliers and procurement executives, and to benefit from mentorship and training programs, as well as mingling events, enterprises must be WBENC-certified. 

WBENC label requirements

To receive WBENC certification, women-owned businesses must reach the standards the association has set. Women business owners seeking certification must adhere to the following criteria: 

✓ 51% of the company’s ownership must be held by a woman.
✓ Demonstrate clear proof of female management and control of the business.
✓ Establish unrestricted female control in both legal documents and day-to-day operations
Ensure that a woman holds the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents. 
Provide documented evidence of the female owner(s) contributing capital and/or industry expertise. 
Confirm the U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident status of woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership. 

Using the WBENC label for marketing purposes

Besides benefitting from WBENC’s wide network and mentorship, WBEs can use the non-profit’s logo on their marketing material (landing pages, social media, business cards, brochures…), as well as on their packaging. The WBENC logo is designed to be easily recognizable to the general public, and it is renowned amongst procurement professionals from large corporations and government entities. 

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