WEConnect International Certification
Are you ready to make connections with major multi-national corporations?
WEConnect International corporate members use the WEConnect International eNetwork to identify women owned suppliers as potential vendors in their supply chains. WEConnect International offers two ways to assess and build your business capacity:
Self-Registration offers a chance to create a profile in the eNetwork and access to training modules to assess business readiness and build capacity.
Certification has the same benefits of self-registration but also includes an individual consultation with a WEConnect International assessor that will provide customized feedback on business readiness and, after a review for eligibility, our Seal of Certification designating your business as a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).
What is Certification?
Our Seal of Certification is a formal guarantee to corporations that they are purchasing goods and/or services from women owned business that meet universal standards for women’s business enterprises (WBEs). Four criteria considered are ownership, management & control, contribution of capital & expertise, and independence.
The Business Readiness and Certification Assessment includes a one-on-one evaluation of the company and whether it meets the universal standards for certification as a women’s business enterprise. All Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) that successfully complete our process to determine compliance with our certification criteria will earn the Seal of Certification.
In order to apply for the Seal of Certification, WBEs must meet the following qualifications:
- Have 51% ownership by one or more women
- Day to day and long term control and management of the business by one or more women
- Contribution of capital and/or expertise by women
- Operated independently from other non-certified businesses (ie. Pass-through companies or sales representatives are not eligible.)
The Benefits of Certification
- In person consultation with WEConnect International to evaluate business readiness and certification eligibility to identify areas where the WEConnect network can provide capacity building support.
- Access to WEConnect’s secure global online community of corporate members and women owned businesses.
- Invitation to forums presented by corporate members, with overviews of their procurement process and practical tips on responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
- Networking opportunities with procurement officers from member corporations.
- Training workshops on how to leverage your certification.
- Opportunities to connect with and learn from other certified companies on key success factors and strategies.
- Opportunity to attend global and local events, as well as register for the dynamic annual conference of WBENC, our United States certification partner
The Certification Process
- If you are self-registered, login to your profile on the eNetwork and continue your certification application.
- If you do not have a login and password to the eNetwork, create them here.
- Complete the application and submit it. Once you submit your application, you will be able to make the non-refundable certification payment through our payment gateway. Payment amounts vary by country and applicants in Canada, Europe, and China have alternative methods of payment. Contact your market representative after the application is submitted.
- Once the application is reviewd by WEConnect International and payment is received, a team member will contact the applicant to schedule a site visit and document review.
- At the in person assessment the assessor will spend approximately 1-2 hours meeting with the prime applicant and reviewing documents that prove the business is at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women.
- If the assessor determines that the business is at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more women, WEConnect International will issue a certificate that will be valid for 1 year.
- At the end of the first year, a certified business can update their application online and if there has been no material change to their business that would impact their status, then a new certificate will be issued for the standard certification fee.
- The re-certification process can be repeated in year three, but an in-person assessment will be required in year four and every third year thereafter.
Business Readiness and Certification Assessment
What is Business Readiness?
Corporate members have identified 14 key factors in evaluating a company’s capacity to access their supply chains. Those 14 factors are:
- Up to date governance documents
- Tax returns for three years
- Website-Email address for customers
- Business Plan/ Marketing Plan
- Dun & Bradstreet Number
- Up to date financial statements/ Audited financial statements
- Payment and Invoicing systems
- Documented hiring and firing procedures
- Documentation for the facility where the company operates
- Loans or financing/Line of credit
- Multi-national partners, agents, customers (purchase orders, invoices, etc.)
- Supplier diversity program* or Sustainability or “green” measures*
- Social Media Plan/ Has the company revisited the marketing and business plan?
The Business Readiness part of the assessment will provide a customized assessment of how many of these best practices the company has in place.
The Seal of Certification Process is open to businesses based in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States (through WBENC)
If you are eligible for certification but it is not yet available in your area, please consider self-registration. We will inform you when Certification reaches your region.