What is a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification?
WEConnect International corporate members use WEConnect International Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification as a tool to ensure that they are purchasing goods or services from women-owned businesses.
What is the process for Certification?
Get certified in 3 easy steps: 1. Build your WECommunity Network profile; 2. Upload the required documents, and; 3. Submit the application and non-refundable fee.
What is the cost of Certification?
Prices vary based on company revenue/size and location.
Are there size or length-of-time in business requirements to become a Certified WBE?
No, but WEConnect International recommends applicants be operating for several years before applying for WBE Certification so they are able to leverage the benefits of Certification.
Are publicly traded companies eligible for Certification?
Yes they are as long as they meet the criteria for ownership, management, control and independence for Certification.
What if my company is found ineligible for WBE Certification?
If your company is found ineligible for WBE Certification, WEConnect International will contact you and outline the reasons why. You will be given 60 days to provide additional documentation for consideration. If inadequate or no documentation is provided within 60 days, your company is eligible to reapply for Certification after one year.
Does my company have to meet all of the business readiness criteria in order to become Certified?
Business readiness is used as a tool to help you determine your company’s capacity to do business within a multinational corporation’s supply chain. In addition, WEConnect International can suggest specific training and opportunities based on your company’s business readiness.
Which companies are eligible for the 2023 3-year Certification?
All Certified companies are eligible for the three (3) year Certification. For businesses that were Certified in the following years:
2022 & 2021 – When applying for Certification renewal in 2023, the new 2023 Certification fee will apply by simply filling in the renewal form to gain a 3-year Certification, plus the company will also be eligible to apply for renewal in advance.
2020 & earlier – When applying for Certification renewal in 2023, the new 2023 Certification fee will apply. However, a new Certification application is required for all businesses that did not apply for re-Certification in 2021 & 2022. Unlike the renewal process, which only requires filling out the form, in this case, re-Certification requires the business to complete the full Certification application process.
Please take note that re-Certification is an in-depth review of the business and requires undergoing the full Certification assessment process which may take up to 90+ days. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure all documents are correct and uploaded because incorrect or incomplete documents will delay the assessment process.
Re-Certification prior to 2023 was required every four years. With the new 2023 3-year Certification policy, re-Certification is required every three years. Re-Certification requires the business to complete the full Certification process.
How to re-Certify to gain 3-year Certification in 2023?
Simply log back into the WEConnect Business Registration Questionnaire and take the following steps:
1) Log back in from this link
2) Click the blue ‘Revise Response’
3) Go to Q.7 ‘Would you like to become Certified with WEConnect International?’ Change your response from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’
4) Upload the necessary business documents
5) Pay for Certification
6) Click the blue ‘Submit’ button to submit your application
My company just renewed our WEConnect International Certification in December 2022 at a higher price. Can my company get a refund for the difference?
No, the new price for renewing a WEConnect International Certification is effective in 2023 and no refund is possible. However, if the Certification renewal fee was prepaid in 2023 for 2024, the company is eligible for a 3-year Certification benefit. For more information on eligibility please refer to Q1: “Which companies are eligible for the 2023 3-year Certification?”
My company paid early in 2022 for my WEConnect International Certification which is due in 2023. Is my company eligible for the new fee?
No, the company is not eligible for the new fee if the fee was already paid early in 2022 for a Certification assessment that is due in 2023. However, your company is eligible to receive a 3-year Certification for the fee that was already paid. For more information on eligibility please refer to Q1: “Which companies are eligible for 2023 three (3) year Certification?”
My Certificate expired in 2022 but I am paying in 2023, within the 90-day grace period, am I eligible for the new fee?
Yes, in 2023, anyone Certified or re-Certified in 2021 or later gets a 3-year Certification with the new fee.
If you have an expired Certificate from 2022 and are renewing your Certification in 2023, you will be eligible for the new fee.
Keep in mind that:
If your business was Certified in 2020, you will need to complete a full re-Certification.
If the business was Certified in 2021 or 2022, you will only need to complete a renewal form and pay the new fee.
It is important to check with your Certification support team to determine whether or not you are eligible for the new fee and what documents may be required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WEConnect International Certification Support for more information.
Does my company need to do anything in Year 2 to ensure our Certificate is still valid?
No, when it comes to renewing, the process is simple and straightforward. All your company needs to do is to complete the renewal form with the correct information (including annual revenue and the number of employees). Confirm on the check box a sworn affidavit that there have been no material or substantive changes to the business structure or ownership and pay a new renewal fee. The affidavit is a legal document that states that you are who you say you are and that your company is eligible to hold the Certificate. It serves as a way to verify your identity and ensure that all information on the renewal form is accurate. WEConnect International reserves the right to reject the renewal if the company no longer meets the Certification criteria or the items on the form are not filled out. To ensure the Certificate remains valid, be sure to renew it prior to the expiration date.
Is there a 90-day grace period going into the 3-year Certification?
Yes, the 90-day grace period is a cooling period, designed to give the Certified business the opportunity to stay Certified on the WECommunity platform for a further 90 days during the renewal process.
Are there any exceptions to the 90-day grace period?
No, the 90-day grace period applies to all Certified businesses regardless of their size or the number of suppliers they work with. After the 90-day period, your business may regain its Certification by successfully completing the Certification assessment process.
Can I extend the 90-day grace period if needed?
No, the 90-day grace period cannot be extended. It is important to remain compliant with the requirements of the Certification in order to keep your business Certified.