1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Industries Where the Most Government Contracts Are Awarded to WOBs

Women Do Not Even Get 3.5% of All Gov Contracts Awarded


Industries Where the Most Government Contracts Are Awarded to WOBs

The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates that as of 2006, there were 7.7 million businesses majority owned by women, generating more than $1 trillion in annual revenues, and providing employment for 7.1 million people. These statistics show that women are starting businesses at twice the rate of all businesses, yet they still receive the smallest share of government contracts.

Trista Winnie, NuWire Investors, April 14, 2008, reports:

"In fiscal 2006, women-owned businesses received $11.6 billion in federal contracts, an increase of $1.4 billion over the previous year. That total, however, represented only 3.4 percent of all federal prime contracts. Denver Business Journal

According to Margaret Smith (2007-2008 Chair of the Board of Directors Center for Women’s Business Research) in her January 22, 2008 statement to the House Small Business Committee, women-owned businesses now represent more than half of all health care (53.7) and educational (50.2%) service businesses.

But these same women-owned businesses are only awarded a fraction of contracts available as is shown in Table 1 (below). Even more disturbing, is that the following figures represent the top three industries where women get contracts.

How This Might Change


The SBA has proposed changes that will limit the number of industries where women are considered “under represented.” If the SBA is successful in implementing these changes, it will cut the number of (under represented) industries down to only four major areas (out of nearly 2,000):

  • Cabinet Making
  • Coating and Engraving
  • National Security and International Affairs; and
  • “Other Motor Vehicle Dealers” (all terrain vehicles)


FORTUNE Small Business reports that:

The Women Impacting Public Policy group calculated that only 1,247 of America's 10.4 million female-owned businesses could benefit. … Nydia Velázquez, chair of the House Committee on Small Business, noted that the proposal "shuts out most of the entrepreneurs it was specifically designed to help." Margot Dorfman, executive director of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, added, "We have no idea how the SBA came up with these four sectors."


Table 1

Gov Contracts Awarded to WOBs
Industry Percent Awarded
Accomodations & Food 11
Health Care 7
Educational Services 2


Peter Galuszka. “Are women still 'disadvantaged’?” FORTUNE Small Business. March 14, 2008: 3:01 PM EDT.

Trista Winnie. ”SBA Loans for Women: Women's Procurement Program.” NuWire Investors. April 14, 2008.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.