Atlantic Canada’s Leading Resource for Women Entrepreneurs Since 1992, located at the RBC Centre for Women in Business, MSVU.

Frequently Asked Questions about WEConnect certification

When asking yourself whether you should become certified with WEConnect, here are some questions to ask yourself. 

Q. What is a WBE?  (Women's Business Enterprise)

A WBE is an independent business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, whose business formation and principal place of business are in Canada, and whose management and daily operation is controlled by one or more of the women owners. Owners must be Canadian citizens and/or Landed Immigrants.

Q. What exactly does it mean to be "certified as a WBE"?

Being certified as a WBE means that a business concern has gone through a rigorous and stringent certification process to confirm the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women.

Q. Which documents are required as part of the application and certification process?

This depends on whether your business is a sole proprietorship, corporation or partnership. See the list of documents provided in the application process. WEConnect Canada may require additional documentation beyond the list depending upon the circumstances of your business.

 

Q. How will I know when I am approved?

After the site visit, we will inform you as to acceptance of certification and a certificate will be issued to your business.

 

Q. How long does my certification last?

The certification is valid for a year. Provided that your company continues to meet WEConnect Canada's criteria, you may renew in years 2 and 3 by updating your information in each of these years. In year 4, a complete documentation review including a site visit will be required. The annual fee payment is required before each annual renewal period is confirmed.

Q. What information should I share within the database

Like most large corporations, our corporate members will require some detailed information about your company before they will agree to do business with you. Therefore, the more information you are willing to share with them, the easier it will be for them to certify you as a contract bidder. Many of the corporations will search our database based on certain criteria such as revenues and number of employees in order to determine your ability to respond to the opportunity. Ultimately, you will need to determine how much information you will make available to them in this fashion.

Q. I am a private company and I don't want to share my financial information with WEConnect Canada or others. Why do you ask for this sensitive information?

Financial documents such as the Profit and Loss statement provide evidence that you are conducting business as described in the application. Documents such as the Balance Sheet and notes to the financial statements are used collectively to verify the ownership, management and control by women owners. Please note that the certification process does not evaluate the company's profitability or financial viability.

Q. How will I know when I am approved?

After the site visit, we will inform you as to acceptance of certification and a certificate will be issued to your business.

Q. How long does my certification last?

The certification is valid for a year. Provided that your company continues to meet WEConnect Canada's criteria, you may renew in years 2 and 3 by updating your information in each of these years. In year 4, a complete documentation review including a site visit will be required. The annual fee payment is required before each annual renewal period is confirmed.

Q. Is certification with WEConnect Canada recognized by Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the U.S. and WEConnect UK?

As affiliates of WEConnect International, these bodies have agreed to recognize each other's programs. Each certifying/qualifying body is independent and specific to the country. That said, it is up to the individual corporate members to determine if they will include the foreign contracts in their diversity spend numbers. Thus far, many of our founding members have agreed to do so. In addition to our corporate members, there are many companies that measure diversity spend and are keen to source from certified women business enterprises which have been approved as such by a certified body.

 

 


 

 

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