The mission of the Women's Business Council - Southwest is to facilitate mutually beneficial procurement opportunities among women's business enterprises (WBE) and Sustaining Members*.
Women-owned businesses represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the business environment, not just locally but nationally and internationally as well. The Women's Business Council - Southwest offers certification, procurement, networking and educational programs that help WBEs grow. The programs are offered throughout a four-state region, which includes Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
*Sustaining Members include corporations, businesses, government entities, institutions and other organizations.
The Women’s Business Council – Southwest (WBCS) was formed in 1995 as the North Texas Women’s Business Council in Dallas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, the mission of the Council was to provide and increase mutually beneficial procurement opportunities for women-owned businesses in corporate, government and institutional arenas, focusing on the north Texas area. The Council continues to carry out that same mission today in a four-state territory, including Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Prior to the Council’s formation, active members of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), along with key corporations in the Dallas Metroplex recognized the critical need for an organization that could provide third-party certification for WBEs similar to the longstanding process available for ethnic minority-owned businesses through the National Minority Supplier Development Council. With commitment and funding from 19 strong corporations, in addition to support from other minority- and women-owned business organizations, the North Texas Women’s Business Council was introduced.
Corporate and WBE members of the new organization’s board soon realized the immediate need to expand their certification program into a national certification standard for WBEs that would be accepted by all corporations across the United States. With the Dallas council and corporations leading the way, strong women’s business organizations from Chicago, Ohio and New Orleans joined the campaign. The result of the effort made by key corporate supporters and the four organizations was the formation of the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). WBENC, as it is commonly referred, now has 14 partnering organizations serving specific regions nationwide. The formation of the national council extended the North Texas council’s coverage area to include all of north and central Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
With active board participation on the national level and rapid membership growth, the North Texas council realized it was time for a new branding effort that could better communicate what the organization was all about. In 2000, the North Texas Women’s Business Council became the Women’s Business Council – Southwest.