Collector - October 2020 - 46

BUSINESSOPERATIONS

Support and Connections
What does it take to get started as a women-owned business in the accounts receivable management industry?
An ACA member gives us a quick peek into the process.

E

arning a women-owned business
certification has many upsides:
it can get you access to certain
government and business contracts,
it helps your company stand out in a
crowded field and it connects you to
valuable networking opportunities.
There are two basic types of
certifications. To get certified as a
women-owned small business (WOSB)
for federal government work, you'll need
to go through the U.S. Small Business
Administration or a third-party certifier.
Certification through the Women's
Business Enterprise National Council
(WBENC) can be helpful if you want to
work with private companies and local
governments.
Among ACA International members,
as of 2018, 32% indicated that they
were women-owned businesses while
an additional 5% of members surveyed
indicated that they were both women- and
minority-owned businesses.
One of these members is Jill BjornaraaRose, president of Asset Discovery
Corp. in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Bjornaraa-Rose talked with us about
her experience earning women-owned
business certifications and how she used
those credentials to get started with
government contracting.

Q: How did you get started with
the certification process?
A: I purchased my first collection agency

in 2012, a small, two-person shop. When
Asset Discovery Corp. came up for sale
in 2014, I bought it and merged the
two companies. Prior to the COVID-19
pandemic, I had about 30 employees.
In 2015, I obtained my women-owned
business certification with WBENC,
which is the largest certifier of womenowned businesses. I'm also WOSB
certified, which I obtained that same year.

46

At that time, I worked with, and
still do work with, an advisor through
the Minnesota Procurement Technical
Assistance Center (MN PTAC). That's
a group that provides support and
marketing assistance to all Minnesota
businesses interested working with the
government. I also receive mentoring

services from the local chapter of
SCORE, which is a national, nonprofit
group that helps small businesses with
free, one-on-one mentoring.
I think it's important to reach out to
groups like this because there are a lot
of hoops to jump through to obtain this
certification, and they can help you get on

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - October 2020

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