What is WBENC?
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a program that provides its members with opportunities rich with prospecting, networking and access to top companies looking for supply-chain diversity.
- Formed nearly 20 years ago to support female business owners
- Nation’s leading third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled and operated by women
- Recognized by public, private, non-profit and government entities throughout the U.S. and its territories
- Allows women access to decision makers from the world’s top companies
- Access to more than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands wanting to do business with women-owned companies
- Aids in increasing fleet & commercial sales
WBENC certification is the most widely recognized and respected certification of its kind; accepted by hundreds of corporations and governmental agencies. It is an important marketing tool for expanding visibility among decision makers in corporate supply chain diversity and procurement organizations. WBENC has 14 Regional Partner Organizations authorized to administer its certification across the U.S. WBENC also provides Women-Owned Small Business certification for the Small Business Association WOSB Federal Contracting program. Outside of the United States, certification is provided by its alliance partner, WEConnect International.
For a dealership to be eligible for WBENC certification, one of two conditions must be met:
- Female dealer-operator, named on Paragraph THIRD of the GM Dealer Agreement, with 51 percent business ownership
- Female Key Manager with control of the day-to-day operations, and with 51 percent business ownership
“Our MatchMaker program establishes connections between certified women business owners and purchasing decision makers from corporations and government agencies seeking suppliers for specific opportunities. Women attending our MatchMaker meetings can do more prospecting in one day than would otherwise take them a year. The process of certification is thorough, but not overly cumbersome for businesses wanting to apply. There is no size requirement for businesses, and certification can be obtained in as little as 90 days. A business submits an application along with the supporting documentation and processing fee. Each of our Regional Partner Organizations meets monthly to review the applications. An onsite visit is then scheduled to ensure that the applicant has actual control, meaning the primary power to manage the business and its day-to-day operations. There is ample opportunity for women-owned dealerships to elevate themselves in the Fleet and Commercial space among WBENC’s diverse corporate and governmental members, as well as with other women-owned businesses.”
WBENC Certification Benefits
What are some of the benefits to enrolling with WBENC?
- Access to supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations and governmental entities accepting WBENC certification
- Access to mentoring, education and capacity development
- Ability to promote businesses using WBENC certified seal on all marketing materials
- Eligible to participate in WBENC Social Media profiles — Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
- Eligible to promote businesses through sponsorship of WBENC national events
- Access to WBENC Insights, an online knowledge resource providing webinars, video, whitepapers and research developed on key women business issues
- Access to global certification through WEConnect International
Increase Fleet Sales with WBENC Certification
How does certification grow fleet sales?
Nearly two-thirds of all small businesses are being opened by women. Data suggests that women-owned companies favor doing business with other woman-owned companies. Right now, there are not many women dealers marketing their fleet inventory in this way. Being out in front and gaining exclusivity is an opportunity to seize.
“Becoming certified by WBENC is a great way to position your dealership with other women business owners, according to the WBENC Web site there are 12,300 certified women owned businesses in the network. If our WRN dealers could build relationships and get just 10 percent of these business owners to buy one vehicle, we would sell 1,230 incremental vehicles. It only makes sense to be a part of the conversation. Leveraging your female ownership and, more importantly, relationships can be a huge asset, small business and commercial sales is a relationship business – customers buy from people they like, respect and trust.”
Pam Hall, member of GM’s Commercial Dealer Advisory Board, has two recommendations for female dealers who are serious about growing their Fleet and Commercial business:
- Consider GM’s Business Elite program, which offers business customers the industry’s best sales and service experience
- Get female-certified. She says it’s a tremendous tool for gaining recognition with important fleet buyers
Why does Hall recommend utilizing GM Business Elite?
- Offers Chevrolet and GMC dealers tools and incentives to succeed in the Fleet and Commercial segment
- Offers small businesses priority service and hours, round-the-clock towing, work-ready loaner vehicles, business financing and leasing options and a variety of other benefits
- Includes Chevrolet Complete Care & GMC Pro Grade Protection
- Provides GM’s Small Business Playbook with resources to help improve operations & grow business
Why does Hall recommend getting female-certified?
- Provides marketing opportunities with local government agencies and organizations looking for supply-chain diversity
- Allows trade show and local government participation opportunities
“Coming from a truck background, I’ve always put a priority on Fleet and Commercial, it adds an interesting dimension to our business and to our bottom line. I enjoy working with business customers to build a versatile fleet that will help grow their business. It has taken a lot of investment in terms of service, staffing and inventory, but Fleet and Commercial has become a big part of our business.”