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WBE Certification for Canadian Companies

WBE Canada (Women Business Enterprises Canada Council) is a Canadian nonprofit organization committed to the success of Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). WBE Canada certifies Canadian B2B businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and connects them to corporate and government supply chains. 

Our WBE certification is built on the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) US model following global supplier diversity standards and is recognized by such giants as IBM, General Motors, Toyota, Accenture, top Canadian companies like BMO, TD Bank, RBC, TELUS, Rogers, Bell and others. Our certification also opens doors for Canadian WBEs to  government organizations, including the City of Toronto and BDC.

WBE Certification helps Canadian WBEs shortcut marketing processes and provides direct access to corporate and government supplier diversity leaders and buyers in organizations in Canada, the USA and beyond.

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Benefits of WBE Certification

Certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) belong to a powerful business network and gain a market edge, allowing them to accelerate the growth of their firms. There are many benefits to becoming a certified WBE, including:

ACCESS

  • Access to closed-door trade shows, events and meetings designed to connect certified businesses with corporate/government buyers to speed up your success
  • Opportunities to network and build relationships with buyers and supplier diversity professionals from top national and international corporations, all eager to diversify their supply chains
  • Connect with government procurement officers and leaders
  • Network with like-minded women-owned businesses, build alliances, partnerships or find mentors who understand your challenges

DEVELOPMENT

  • Education on how to leverage your certification, access commercial opportunities and market your business to organizations through supplier diversity programs
  • Training workshops designed to help you increase your business capacity, respond to RFXs, prepare for Trade Missions or MatchMaker meetings, and much more
  • Coaching and mentoring from other certified women-owned firms on key success factors to help you scale up your business
  • Opportunity to participate in Mentoring through corporate mentorship programs

SUPPORT

  • Be part of a unique and supportive B2B network
  • Your company profile in the WBE Canada database accessed by our Corporate Members
  • Potential to do business with other WBEs run by like-minded, high-growth women business owners, and to create partnerships that can increase your strength and leverage your business in bidding for larger contracts
  • Eligibility for WBE Canada’s Awards program

Certification has its benefits, but not all businesses are candidates. Continue reading to see if certification is the right step for your business.

WBE Certification Eligibility

WBE Canada follows Certification Policy and Procedures to determine whether a business is eligible for WBE certification. Take time to review this policy prior to applying for certification. There are no exceptions to this Policy.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CERTIFICATION POLICY & PROCEDURES DOCUMENT

Is your company eligible?
An eligible company is an independent business that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, whose business formation and principal place of business are in Canada OR they are majority owned, managed and controlled by woman/women who are Canadian citizens or lawful permanent residents. Your taxes MUST be paid in order for your company to receive and retain your WBE certification.

Are you willing to share the details of your business, including financial records and company structure?
The certification process entails an audit of a number of documents in order to confirm the eligibility of your business. All information and documents submitted by your business are kept completely confidential.

Are you clear that WBE certification is a marketing tool, and does not entitle your company to corporate contracts?
If your business becomes certified, your business details will appear in our membership database which is searched by our corporate members as they seek new suppliers. WBE Canada certification differentiates your business and promotes access to people and opportunities that may have been difficult for you to identify previously.

WBE Certification is about increasing your access to connections that could lead to contract opportunities. Once certified, WBE Canada will facilitate opportunities and events where you will meet procurement officers from member and nonmember organizations. You will need to invest time and energy into developing a marketing campaign that targets corporations and government agencies that need your product or service. WBE certification does not guarantee a contract – you must still be competitive in price, quality and delivery. 

Our activities and events also facilitate opportunities for you to meet with other certified WBEs. Our growing WBE community involves WBEs from a variety of backgrounds, locations, sizes and industries.

Application Process

The certification process is rigorous but the key steps are simple:

Step 1: Application Submission

  1. CLICK TO APPLY (top right hand corner of our website) to be granted access to our secure online portal. Once registered, you will receive an email giving you login access to your application.
  2. Log in using your username/email and password provided to you by email. You will find helpful information and other guidance to assist you through the application process. Upon successful login, you will find your name at the top right-hand corner of the secure portal. Click on it to navigate to your application.
  3. The application asks for your business type (incorporation, partnership, sole proprietorship). Your application will be specific to the type. The application has save draft capabilities meaning you can complete as little or as much of the required information at any time and SAVE to come back later. The application should be completed by the sole owner, majority shareholder, or general partner of the company/partnership seeking certification, as applicable.
  4. Documentation – our application has the functionality to upload the required documents. Documentation required to be made available by uploading into the application: Incorporated Companies | Partnerships | Sole Proprietorship. You must upload all the required documents prior to your site visit. All information supplied to WBE Canada will be kept confidential and secure as per our Privacy Policy.
  5. Remit the fee via our payment system as directed within the application using a credit card. WBE Certification fee is $750 plus tax. 
  6. When you have completed the application in full, click SUBMIT

Step 2: Application Review

  1. WBE Canada Certification Staff will review your application and schedule a site visit in accordance with Certification Procedures. WBE Canada reserves the right to ask questions in addition to those listed in the application, as may be required.
  2. When completed, your application is moved to our Certification Committee for final approval or denial. The Certification Committee may request additional documentation or information as appropriate.

Step 3: Application Approval/Denial

  1. Applicant will be notified about the Certification Committee decision within 5 business days after such meeting. 
  2. Once certification is approved, a confirmation package including a WBE Certificate will be sent to you. Basic company information will be provided to the WBE Canada network of organizations seeking vendors and business partners.
  3. WBE Certification is an annual process – all certified businesses must undergo annual review to ensure eligibility (see Renewal, Recertification and Decertification Process section in Certification Manual). 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Have more information?
Visit our FAQ page or email/call Michelle Bianchi at mbianchi@wbecanada.ca or 647-637-6233

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