FAQs


The WEConnect certification for women-owned businesses is one of the most widely recognised and respected certifications in Europe. Your WEConnect certification will be an important marketing tool for expanding your company's visibility among decision makers in corporate supply chain diversity and procurement.

What is a WBE?
What exactly does it mean to be "certified as a WBE"?
What is WEConnect?
How does WEConnect certification differ from others?
Are there size or length of time in business requirements for certifiable companies?
What is the fee for certification?
Is the fee reimbursed if I am not certified?
What is the processing time for certification?
What is involved in the certification process?
Why do I have to supply my company's financial information?
What if I don't have a document that is required?
What if my bank won't give me a copy of my signature card?
What is an acceptable form of gender?
Who will see the paperwork and documents I submit?
How long does my certification last?
How do I get recertified?
Will I have to re-submit all of the same documentation when I am recertified?
Is there an on-site visit? Do I have to pay for that?
Can a woman and a man own the company jointly?
Is my certification transferable if I sell my business to another woman?
Who do I call to check the status of my certification?
How am I assured of the confidentiality of my documents once I send them?
I submitted my application by mistake, what do I do?
What is self-registration?

What is a WBE?

WBE (Women's Business Enterprise) is:

  • an independent business concern that is at least 51% owned and managed by one or more women
  • whose business formation and principal place of business are in Europe
  • and whose management and daily operation is controlled by one or more of the women owners.

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.
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What is WEConnect?

WEConnect delivers the leading certification standard for women owned businesses. We bring together the growing corporate and public sector demands for diverse supply chains with women's business enterprises based in Europe.
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How does WEConnect certification differ from others?

WEConnect provides access to an international standard of certification and provides information on certified women's businesses to purchasing managers through its internet database. WEConnect certification is recognised and accepted by a growing number of the major corporations across Europe and abroad.
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Are there size or length of time in business requirements for certifiable companies?

There are no size or time requirements for WEConnect certification.
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What is the fee for certification?

Guidelines are provided on our Certification Process page. Please contact WEConnect directly to determine applicable fees based on turnover. This is a non-refundable processing fee, even if the applicant does not complete their paperwork or fails to be certified.
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Is the fee reimbursed if I am not certified?

No, it is a non-refundable processing fee.
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What is the processing time for certification?

The processing time is generally 60-90 days once all documentation has been received by WEConnect.
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What is involved in the certification process?

The certification process is as follows:

  • A business entity submits an application, along with the necessary supporting documentation and non-refundable processing fee.
  • Once the applicant's file is complete (meaning all documentation pertinent to the business and legal structure has been received), an on-site visit is conducted.
  • At the certification review following the site visit, a recommendation is made regarding the applicant's eligibility.
  • If certification is granted, the company's assigned contact will receive an email telling them that they have been certified and may now access their certificate online. A formal letter will also be mailed.

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Why do I have to supply my company's financial information?

Financial documents, such as the Profit & Loss Statement, provide evidence that the applicant is conducting the business as describing in the application. Documents such as the Balance Sheet and tax returns are used collectively to verify the ownership, management, and control by the women owners. Please note that the certification process does not evaluate the company's profitability or financial viability.
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What if I don't have a document that is required?

WEConnect realises that you may not have all the documentation we request. Should that be the case, please submit a letter with your documentation stating which documents do not exist and why.
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What if my bank won't give me a copy of my signature card?

In place of the bank signature card, a letter may be sent from your bank on the bank's letterhead informing us of the authorised signatures on the bank account(s) and any stipulations placed on the account(s) e.g. two signatures required on all cheques.
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What is an acceptable form of gender?

A birth certificate or passport will suffice.
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Who will see the paperwork and documents I submit?

Apart from the WEConnect Operations Manager who collates all the application information and manages the database, the application is reviewed by the Director of Certification and the Chief Executive Officer and the relevant recommendation made.
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How long does my certification last?

The certification lasts for three years. Applicants go through the whole process in the first instance and then in year’s one and two, they self certify. Any changes of circumstance during that time must be notified in writing to WEConnect.
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How do I get recertified?

Recertification is not automatic. You will receive a recertification application approximately 90 days before your certification expires; however, it is the WBE's responsibility to maintain current certification.
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Will I have to re-submit all of the same documentation when I am recertified?

No - the recertification process is much simpler. We request updated financial information, board meeting minutes, if applicable, and any changes that may have occurred in either ownership or management of the business.
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Is there an on-site visit? Do I have to pay for that?

An on-site visit is mandatory with each initial application and must be performed every three years thereafter as part of the recertification process. The applicant does not pay for any of the site visits. There are no surprise site visits.
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Can a woman and a man own the company jointly?

Yes, a woman and a man can own the company jointly; however, the woman must be the majority owner (at least 51% ownership) and must demonstrate that her management and control of the company, her contribution of capital and/or expertise, and her assumption of all profits and risks are commensurate with her ownership percentage.
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Is my certification transferable if I sell my business to another woman?

No, certification is granted based on ownership, not company name.
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Who do I call to check the status of my certification?

When you submit your online application, you will receive email notification from both WEConnect who will process your application. The email will contain all the contact information. Contact the WEConnect Operations Manager with any questions concerning your application or the certification process in general.
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How am I assured of the confidentiality of my documents once I send them?

Please be assured that all documents submitted are treated with the utmost confidentiality. All files are kept under lock and key. Staff are aware that information is confidential, proprietary, and valuable to the applicant and that any disclosure could cause harm to the applicant.
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I submitted my application by mistake, what do I do?

Once you submit your application you are sent an auto email with contact information. Please call or email the Operations Manager to alert them.
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What is self-registration?

Self-registration is the first stage of the certification process, whereby a business is registered on the database and submits an application, along with a signed statement confirming that all information submitted in their application is correct. This is to confirm that the business is majority-owned (51%) and controlled by a woman, or women. No site visit is carried out for verification purposes. The business details are listed on the database that corporates have access to, however, it is clearly stated that the business is self-registered and not fully certified. Self-registration does not incur a fee and lasts for a maximum of 12 months. After this time, the Woman Business Owner must apply for certification or be removed from the database.

Whilst the business is listed on the database, no active work is carried out by the WEConnect team to facilitate opportunities for meeting with procurement officers or other women business owners.
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