Our Three Pillars

WPEO’s mission is driven by the guiding pillars of Awareness, Approval and Access—the “three A’s”—which form the basis of our ongoing commitment to women-owned businesses.
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AWARENESS

WBEs are a vital part of our economy. Over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States generate more than $1.3 trillion in revenues and employ nearly 7.8 million people.* WPEO was founded to address the disparity between the economic impact of WBEs and corporate spend by:

  • Providing a recognized certification program for WBEs
  • Promoting corporate supplier diversity programs
  • Integrating WBEs into corporate supply chains

WPEO helps raise the profile of WBEs and advocates for their inclusion in business opportunities with corporate America. WPEO also educates the public about the ability of WBEs to deliver contracts to the largest companies.

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APPROVAL

WPEO comprises two of WBENC’s 14 regional partner organizations which manage certification at the regional level. We provide WBE certification to businesses on WBENC’s behalf ensuring that they meet the criteria of a WBE—the gold standard in diversity certification. These criteria include:

  • Majority female ownership (at least 51%)
  • Control and management over day-to-day operations and major business decisions
  • Contribution and expertise
  • Independence

WBENC’s evaluation system is designed to objectively confirm that a business is legitimately woman owned, operated, and controlled before certification is granted.

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ACCESS

Giving WBEs increased access to business opportunities is WPEO’s main objective. Through our programming, initiatives and partnerships, we advocate for and help empower WBEs to build relationships with Fortune 1000 companies. Our programs include:

  • Networking events
  • Educational programs
  • Matchmaking meetings
  • Done Deals™ Challenge
  • Media opportunities
  • Awards recognition
  • Committee participation

Becoming certified is the first step in gaining access to the business development and networking opportunities WPEO has to offer, as well as the support of a vibrant and active community.

 
  *Source: The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN. Read the report here