Research on the Women-Owned Small Business Program

Quantitative Research on the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

Innovation & Information Consultants for the National Women’s Business Council

First published July 2013

The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB FCP) aims to reduce the inequity in award and distribution of prime Federal contracts to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs). The WOSB FCP includes policies designed to promote WOSB Federal procurement activity, such that WOSBs procure at least 5 percent of total prime Federal contracts in a given year. The principal mechanisms available to increase WOSB participation in Federal procurement are “set-asides,” in which contracting agencies set aside certain Federal contracts specifically for WOSBs in an effort to reach the 5 percent contracting objective.

The primary focus of our analysis was to evaluate the impact of the WOSB FCP on the participation of and awards granted to women-owned small businesses. Of principal interest was whether WOSBs are meeting procurement thresholds of 5 percent (in both contract number and dollar amount) of total Federal prime contracting awards since the implementation of the WOSB FCP rules in 2011.

Download Resource