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Women-Owned Small Businesses and Small Disadvantaged Businesses

One of the goals of the SBIR and STTR programs is to encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses (SDB) and women-owned small businesses (WOSB).

During the application process, both SDB and WOSB can self-certify that they meet the requirements. This information is used for federal tracking purposes ONLY and is encouraged, but not required. These metrics help the SBIR agencies coordinate specific outreach to SDB and WOSB. NIH strongly encourages applicants to find out if they are a WOSB or SDB and check the appropriate boxes consistently on the applications. Checking the appropriate box consistently is important, as it will help NIH keep more accurate records which will help inform the agency’s communication strategy.

What is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)?

  • A firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.
  • The firm must be "small" in its primary industry in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA)'s size standards for that industry.
  • Small businesses self-certify on the SF424 (R&R) Form.

What is a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business (SDB)?

  • The firm must be 51% or more owned and control by one or more disadvantaged persons.
  • The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The firm must be small, according to SBA's size standards.
  • Small businesses must self-certify by registering in the System for Award Management.