Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
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Women-Owned and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Businesses

HHS fosters diversity by encouraging the participation of individuals from nationally underrepresented groups in the scientific research workforce. NIH is committed to diversifying the national scientific workforce and empower women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses (SDB) to participate in the small business programs.

What is a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)?

  • A firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.
  • The firm must be "small" in its primary industry in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA)'s size standards for that industry.
  • Small businesses self-certify on the SF424 (R&R) Form.

What is a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business (SDB)?

  • The firm must be 51% or more owned and control by one or more disadvantaged persons.
  • The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The firm must be small, according to SBA's size standards.
  • Small businesses must self-certify by registering in the System for Award Management.

Applicants are requested to self-certify as WOSB or SDB in the System for Award Management. This information is neither provided to review panels nor is it used during the peer review process; rather it helps HHS agencies to coordinate outreach efforts to underrepresented communities. While self-certification is encouraged, it is not required. 

Learn More about NIH SBIR/STTR: