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4 Great Ways to Grow Your Woman-Owned Business

To support the hard-working women entrepreneurs in our community, we’ve collected information on four great ways to advance your business.
Women-owned businesses in Miami-Dade County

Axis Helps always strives to find great opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses, and we are excited to celebrate to our women-owned businesses!

1. Certify Your Business 

Do you operate a women-owned business but are not yet certified as one? Many opportunities, like corporate business deals and government contracts might require the official certification. While it isn’t necessary for every opportunity, it can be a useful (and profitable) designation to add to your business profile! 

There are several ways your business can receive an official certification, but first, let’s break down the two largest options:

WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business)

This certification is offered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) for federal contracting opportunities. 

  • You can apply and complete the process for free on the SBA’s WOSB certification page
  • Once you have submitted all required information, it can take up to 90 days to receive the official designation.
  • WOSB is limited to businesses within certain NAICS Codes (basically, it is available for businesses in specific industries). You can find a (long!) list of the 759 eligible industries here.
  • If you would like help with the WOSB application and are willing to pay for assistance (average fees start at around $350), there are several SBA-approved organizations that can help:
  1. El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  2. National Women Business Owners Corporation
  3. U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  4. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Helpful tip: Many of the organizations listed above also offer a WBE certification (explained below). Be sure to apply for the certification most in line with your business goals and needs. 

WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise)

This certification is offered by numerous agencies, including local and state governments as well as non-profit organizations.

Please note there are numerous local, state, and national organizations offering WBE certifications. We recommend doing your own research into the various options.

So what’s the main difference between a WOSB and a WBE certification?

Simply put, if you want to pursue contracting opportunities with the federal government, a WOSB is right for you. In almost every other case, a WBE certification will get you where you need to go. 

2. Apply for Grants 

Up first, here are grants designed specifically to help women-owned businesses thrive and grow. 

Several other grant opportunities open to women entrepreneurs are listed on Axis Helps. Click here to explore more options. 

In some cases, grant applications may require financial documents such as a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, or business tax returns. If you need help pulling these together, there are many local organizations that can help! Click here to sign up for the Miami-Dade Business Navigator program.

3. Join Networking Groups & Chambers

Across the South Florida region, there are many opportunities for networking with experts and other business professionals. There are a variety of options, both in-person and virtual, that provide access to groups from all different industries. 

One great example is the Florida Women’s Business Center which provides the opportunity to work alongside hundreds of business owners and counselors who offer insights, resources, and solutions to everyday business challenges you might be experiencing. 

Another resource for new or existing small businesses are Chambers of Commerce. These are typically located within a specific region, and can connect members with other businesses that can provide valuable resources for business growth.

Beyond regional chambers, there is the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County. Both Chambers require a fee to join but typically host events and offerings that non-members can attend to learn more about the organization. 

Here are a few networking groups that have an online following and connect women entrepreneurs together via social media. 

4. Support Women-Owned Businesses! 

Lastly, we want to remind all of our readers to support women-owned businesses! Not only during the month of October but throughout the whole year. To learn a bit more about some local small business owners to support, you can visit Miami's Small Business Stories on Axis Helps. There, you can read about local business owners, their services, origin stories, advice they have to offer, and much more. 

Contact us today if you have any questions about resources available for women-owned businesses or want to help us celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month. 

Photo collage of women-owned businesses in Miami, provided by Axis Helps.

Posted: October 6, 2022