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Monica Smiley is editor and publisher of Enterprising Women. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). To learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Peace Through Business program or donate to the organization, visit www.ieew.org. Contact her at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com.

Center for Women & Enterprise and the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office Streamline Application Process for Women-Owned Businesses

Boston, MA, June 26th, 2018 — The Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) have partnered to streamline the SDO certification process for women-owned businesses.

This agreement applies to companies certified as Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the region covered by the Center for Women & Enterprise which includes: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and the northern CT counties of Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, and Windham. Currently, 275 MA-based WBE companies are WBENC certified out of 425 total WBENC certified businesses in the region.

This alliance will provide women-owned businesses a more efficient process to attain WBE certification from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under the new agreement, any business recognized with WBENC status certified through CWE that seeks WBE status through the SDO, will need to submit a one-page request for certification recognition, along with a copy of their current WBENC certificate and two state forms. Information may be submitted electronically, eliminating the requirement to submit hard copy documentation.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to offer a more seamless certification process for women-owned businesses. This new, streamlined process highlights a collective commitment to small and diverse enterprises and increasing access to the State’s business opportunities,” said CWE President & CEO Susan Rittscher.

For the past year, the application process had been shortened for CWE-WBENC-certified businesses, but applicants were required to submit many documents to obtain both CWE-WBENC and SDO WBE certification. This new agreement fully condenses the process, saving valuable time and resources, allowing business owners to focus on tasks that directly impact their bottom line — daily operations, hiring, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.

“We greatly value the strong working relationship that we have with CWE and the quality certification and support services they provide to the state’s WBE-certified businesses,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operational Services Bill McAvoy. “We look forward to continuing to find opportunities to collaborate to support CWE-WBENC-certified WBEs so that they can grow their business networks and thrive in Massachusetts.”

The collaboration between CWE and the SDO enhances strides taken in January 2016 when the SDO started accepting cross-applications submitted to national and regional certification organizations such as the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) the CWE and its regional affiliates, the City of Boston, VetBiz/U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN), and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), by Minority (MBE), Women (WBE), Veteran (VBE), and Service-Disabled Veteran (SDVOBE), Disability (DOBE), and LGBT business enterprises.

For more information, visit www.cweonline.org and www.mass.gov/sdo. To apply for third-party certification click here.

About the Center for Women & Enterprise
Established in 1995, the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs and women in business to increase their professional success, personal growth, and financial independence. CWE is the New England affiliate for Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), serving as their certification arm for women-owned businesses. WBENC certification is nationally recognized in helping established women business owners access new corporate contracts with organizations that are actively seeking supplier diversity.

CWE also operates the Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England (VBOC of NE) that equips veteran and active duty service members and their families with the resources to help them start and run their businesses. CWE provides education, training, resources and connections to women (and men) through Centers in Boston, MA; Westborough, MA; Nashua, NH; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; and Community Classrooms throughout New England.

To learn more about CWE visit, www.CWEonline.org. Find CWE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CenterforWomenandEnterprise, Twitter at www.twitter.com/CWETalk and LinkedIn, Friends of Center for Women & Enterprise.

Media contact:
Nicole Mazzarella
The Castle Group

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