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Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program; Identification of Eligible Industries

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Small Business Administration.




In order to carry out the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was required by section 825 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 to conduct a new study identifying the industries in which women-owned small businesses are underrepresented in Federal contracting and to report to Congress on the results of that study by January 2, 2016. In accordance with this statutory mandate, SBA has provided this report to Congress and with this notice, notifies the public of the results of this study and identifies the industries designated by SBA as eligible for the WOSB Program.


This notice is effective March 3, 2016. The designations of industries contained in this notice apply to all solicitations issued on or after the effective date.

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Mr. Leo Sanchez, Office of Government Contracting, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; (202) 619-1658;

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I. Background

Under section 8(m) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 637(m), SBA is responsible for implementing and administering the WOSB Program, which went into effect on February 4, 2011. The purpose of the WOSB Program is to ensure that women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) have an equal opportunity to participate in Federal contracting and to help attain the Federal government's goal of awarding five percent of its prime contract dollars to WOSBs. The WOSB Program authorizes Federal contracting officers to restrict competition for an acquisition to WOSBs if there is a reasonable expectation that at least two WOSBs will submit offers that meet the requirements of the acquisition at a fair and reasonable price and if the acquisition is for a good or service assigned a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code in which SBA has determined that WOSBs are “substantially underrepresented.” The WOSB Program also authorizes contracting officers to award a sole source contract assigned such a NAICS code to a WOSB if only one WOSB can be identified that can perform the contract at a fair and reasonable price. In addition, Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs) can likewise receive set-asides and sole source awards similar to those described above for WOSBs, and in a larger set of industries where SBA has determined that WOSBs are “underrepresented” but not substantially so.

In order to identify the industries eligible for set-asides under the WOSB Program, the Small Business Act required the SBA Administrator to conduct a study to identify those industries in which small business concerns owned and controlled by women are underrepresented in Federal contracting. 15 U.S.C. 637(m)(4). SBA awarded a contract to the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy (RAND) to complete a study of the underrepresentation of WOSBs in Federal prime contracts by industry code. RAND published the study in April 2007.[1] Prior to the Start Printed Page 11341effective date of this notice, SBA used the results of the RAND study to designate 83 four-digit NAICS industry groups as either underrepresented or substantially underrepresented by WOSBs. SBA published the designated NAICS codes on the WOSB Program's Web page on SBA's Web site, at​wosb.

In 2014, Congress amended the Small Business Act to require SBA to submit a report to Congress reflecting the results of a new study by January 2, 2016, and then continue to conduct a new study every five years. Public Law 113-291 825(c) (Dec. 19, 2014). In response to this statutory mandate, SBA asked the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) of the U.S. Department of Commerce for assistance in conducting a new study on the WOSB Program, which would analyze data to help SBA determine those NAICS codes in which WOSBs are underrepresented and substantially underrepresented in Federal contracting. OCE looked at whether, holding constant various factors that might influence the award of a contract, the odds of winning Federal prime contracts by firms that were owned by women were greater or less than the odds of winning contracts by otherwise similar businesses.

II. Overview of Study and Results

In its analysis, OCE controlled for the size and age of the firm; its membership in various categories of firms for which the Federal government has government-wide prime contracting goals; its legal form of organization; its level of government security clearance; and its Federal prime contracting past performance ratings. OCE also looked at whether women-owned businesses typically have significantly different experiences in winning contracts depending on their industry. OCE performed this analysis at the four-digit NAICS industry group level. OCE included each firm in its sample in an industry analysis if the firm had registered as being able to perform work in that industry or if the firm had won a contract assigned to that industry.

OCE found that women-owned businesses were less likely to win Federal contracts in 254 of the 304 industries included in the study.

In 109 out of the 304 industries, OCE found that women-owned businesses have statistically significant lower odds of winning Federal contracts than otherwise similar non-women-owned businesses at the 95% confidence level. SBA has determined that the finding by OCE of a statistically significant lower likelihood of winning contracts demonstrates that WOSBs are substantially underrepresented in these 109 NAICS codes. However, of these industries, 17 are in sectors 42 and 44-45, which are not applicable to Federal contracts under SBA's regulations. 13 CFR 121.201. These 17 industry group NAICS codes are set forth in Table 1, Industries Part of Sectors 42 and 44-45, Not Applicable to Federal Contracts Under SBA Regulations.

Table 1—Industries Part of Sectors 42 and 44-45, Not Applicable to Federal Contracts Under SBA Regulations

NAICS codeNAICS U.S. industry title
4231Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
4233Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers.
4234Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
4237Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
4238Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
4239Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers.
4242Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant Wholesalers.
4246Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers.
4249Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers.
4251Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers.
4411Automobile Dealers.
4421Furniture Stores.
4422Home Furnishings Stores.
4441Building Material and Supplies Dealers.
4442Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores.
4512Book, Periodical, and Music Stores.
4543Direct Selling Establishments.

Since the industry groups above cannot be used to classify Federal contracts, SBA has excluded them from the list of industries designated as substantially underrepresented.

In addition, OCE found that in 145 out of the 304 industries, the odds of women-owned businesses winning contracts were lower than those of otherwise similar non-women-owned businesses, but there was not a statistically significant difference between the odds of winning for the two groups. Although there was not a finding of statistical significance for these industries, 21 of them were previously found by the RAND study to be industries in which WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. Thus, SBA has information showing historical underrepresentation of women-owned businesses in these 21 industries, which is consistent with the OCE finding that women-owned businesses are less likely to win contracts. As a result, SBA finds that it possesses sufficient data to determine that WOSBs are underrepresented in these 21 industries. SBA also believes that this decision fulfills the intent of the Small Business Act, which demonstrates the intent that the designations of eligible industries be based on at least five years of data.

The full OCE study is available on SBA's Web site at​wosb.

III. Eligible Industries

Based on the above, SBA finds a total of 113 industry groups eligible for Federal contracting under the WOSB Program. This includes 21 4-digit NAICS industry groups in which WOSBs are underrepresented (meaning contracting officers can make EDWOSB set-aside and sole source awards in these industries) and 92 4-digit NAICS industry groups in which WOSBs are substantially underrepresented (meaning contracting officers can make WOSB set-aside and sole source awards in these industries). EDWOSB concerns are eligible to be considered for both WOSB and EDWOSB set-aside and sole Start Printed Page 11342source awards for the 113 NAICS industry groups.

The 21 NAICS codes in which WOSBs are underrepresented are set forth in Table 2, NAICS Codes in which WOSBs are Underrepresented.

Table 2—NAICS Codes in Which WOSBs Are Underrepresented

NAICS codeNAICS U.S. industry title
3152Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing.
3219Other Wood Product Manufacturing.
3259Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing.
3333Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing.
3342Communications Equipment Manufacturing.
3353Electrical Equipment Manufacturing.
3359Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing.
3372Office Furniture (including Fixtures) Manufacturing.
4841General Freight Trucking.
4885Freight Transportation Arrangement.
4889Other Support Activities for Transportation.
5171Wired Telecommunications Carriers.
5311Lessors of Real Estate.
5414Specialized Design Services.
5611Office Administrative Services.
5614Business Support Services.
5621Waste Collection.
6115Technical and Trade Schools.
6243Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
7223Special Food Services.
8114Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance.

The 92 NAICS codes in which WOSBs are substantially underrepresented are set forth in Table 3, NAICS Codes in which WOSBs are Substantially Underrepresented.

Table 3—NAICS Codes in Which WOSBs Are Substantially Underrepresented

NAICS codeNAICS U.S. industry title
1153Support Activities for Forestry.
2213Water, Sewage and Other Systems.
2361Residential Building Construction.
2362Nonresidential Building Construction.
2371Utility System Construction.
2373Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction.
2379Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.
2381Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors.
2382Building Equipment Contractors.
2383Building Finishing Contractors.
2389Other Specialty Trade Contractors.
3114Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing.
3118Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing.
3141Textile Furnishings Mills.
3149Other Textile Product Mills.
3231Printing and Related Support Activities.
3241Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing.
3323Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing.
3324Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container Manufacturing.
3325Hardware Manufacturing.
3328Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities.
3329Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing.
3331Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing.
3334Ventilation, Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing.
3335Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing.
3339Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing.
3345Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing.
3346Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media.
3363Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing.
3369Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing.
3371Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing.
3391Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing.
3399Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing.
4831Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation.
4842Specialized Freight Trucking.
4884Support Activities for Road Transportation.
4931Warehousing and Storage.
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5111Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers.
5112Software Publishers.
5121Motion Picture and Video Industries.
5122Sound Recording Industries.
5151Radio and Television Broadcasting.
5172Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite).
5174Satellite Telecommunications.
5179Other Telecommunications.
5182Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services.
5191Other Information Services.
5241Insurance Carriers.
5242Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities.
5321Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing.
5324Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing.
5411Legal Services.
5412Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services.
5413Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services.
5415Computer Systems Design and Related Services.
5416Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services.
5417Scientific Research and Development Services.
5418Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services.
5419Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.
5612Facilities Support Services.
5615Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services.
5616Investigation and Security Services.
5617Services to Buildings and Dwellings.
5619Other Support Services.
5622Waste Treatment and Disposal.
5629Remediation and Other Waste Management Services.
6113Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools.
6114Business Schools and Computer and Management Training.
6116Other Schools and Instruction.
6117Educational Support Services.
6211Offices of Physicians.
6214Outpatient Care Centers.
6215Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories.
6219Other Ambulatory Health Care Services.
6221General Medical and Surgical Hospitals.
6231Nursing Care Facilities.
6242Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services.
7112Spectator Sports.
7113Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events.
7114Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures.
7115Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers.
7211Traveler Accommodation.
7212RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks and Recreational Camps.
7225Restaurants and Other Eating Places.
8111Automotive Repair and Maintenance.
8112Electronic and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance.
8113Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance.
8121Personal Care Services.
8123Drycleaning and Laundry Services.
8129Other Personal Services.
8131Religious Organizations.
8139Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations.

SBA has posted the list of designated NAICS codes on its Web site at​wosb and they are effective as set forth in this notice.

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Dated: February 29, 2016.

A. John Shoraka,

Associate Administrator, Government Contracting and Business Development.

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1.  The RAND study is available to the public at​pubs/​technical_​reports/​TR442.

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[FR Doc. 2016-04762 Filed 3-2-16; 8:45 am]