The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations to provide its national standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America's corporations.
The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is dedicated to advancing the success of Corporate Members, certified women's business enterprises, and government entities in partnership with its Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs).
Who Does WBENC Serve?
Major corporations that pay membership fees and have an active Supplier Diversity program or will have one, within 12 months of membership, are classified as Corporate Members. Corporate Members must also demonstrate a commitment to actively conduct business with WBENC certified women business enterprises (WBEs).
Women-owned business entities that apply for and are granted WBENC certification, and have paid all relevant fees are classified as WBENC certified WBEs. WBENC certified WBEs are not classified as members of WBENC, but are classified as Beneficiaries. The collective interests of WBENC certified WBEs are represented by the Women's Enterprise Leadership Forum composed of a group of WBEs elected as a Governing Committee.
A select group of government entities also share Member status as they meet the same criteria as Corporate Members. WBENC and its RPOs are working to increase acceptance of WBENC certification by federal, state, and local government entities throughout the country.
In compliance with a designation agreement with WBENC, 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) administer WBENC certification and recertification standards to women owned businesses throughout the U.S.
What are WBENC's Core Values?
WBENC's core values are Certification, Opportunities, and Resources.
WBENC provides and manages the development, enforcement and implementation of its gold standard of certification, which is nationally accepted by thousands of major corporations and a select group of government entities. WBENC certification is a rigorous, multi-faceted business application and review process that is conducted by a trained Certification Review Committee to ensure that women owned businesses applying for certification are 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or group of women. This stipulation is a requirement on which WBENC was founded as a key service to Corporate Members interested in doing business with women owned businesses.
In conjunction with "Opportunities" being a core value, WBENC's tagline is Creating Opportunities … Recognizing Excellence. The focus on "Opportunities" benefits WBENC constituents by providing formal and informal programs, events and tools to connect Corporate Buyers with WBENC certified WBEs that have the capacity to meet their business needs.
WBENC provides a broad range of resources to Corporate Members and WBEs. For Corporate Members, WBENC offers a series of nationally provided training and tools to advance the Corporate Members ability to grow Supplier Diversity programs, best practices, trends in Supplier Diversity, and professional development.
WBENC certified WBEs are offered a series of nationally provided training, including graduate level Executive Education programs, and tools to help grow their ability to better operate their business, grow their capacity to meet corporate needs, and better understand how to compete in a diverse procurement environment.
WBENC also conducts a number of research studies on topics and trends that support the growth and improvement of both groups.
Although "Recognition" is not a stated core value, it is a significant factor in WBENC's mission. By identifying and putting a spotlight on America's Top Corporations for Women Business Enterprises, WBENC is able to promote, not only corporations that demonstrate a high proficiency in conducting business with and supporting the growth of WBEs, but also capture important data that tracks best practices and trends in Supplier Diversity.
By recognizing WBEs in multiple capacities (Women Business Enterprises, WBE event Chairs, etc.), WBENC puts a spotlight on WBEs to not only recognize their success as women owned businesses, but also their investment into the women business community through volunteerism, mentoring, cause-related support benefiting women, and more. This spotlight has traditionally served as a marketing tool to provide increased visibility of their businesses, which often times have resulted in meetings with Corporate Buyers.
What is WBENC's Value Proposition?
Access to contacts, opportunities, markets, solutions, resources, and recognition based on WBENC certification.
What is the Structure of WBENC's Governance?
WBENC is a diverse coalition, which is governed by the three constituent groups of the organization.
Corporations hold two-thirds of the seats on the Board of Directors and provide insight into the needs of corporate America;
The Leadership Council, are the presiding officers of the Regional Partner Organizations, which implement WBENC certification to women owned businesses and submit annual reviews of their procedures and results;
The Women's Enterprise Leadership Forum, represents the interests of WBENC certified WBEs.
How is WBENC Funded?
WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals to support its mission and programs. WBENC's primary operating funds are obtained through the receipt of Corporate Membership fees and net revenue from annual events, programs and services.
WBENC provides allocation payments to its RPOs for services rendered in administering certification and recertification to women owned businesses. RPOs receive a designate percentage of Corporate Membership dues and net revenues from WBENC's annual events, programs, and services. NOTE: WBENC does not receive any portion of the certification or recertification fees paid to its RPOs.