2023 National WBCs of Excellence Program


The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) designates an organization as a “National Women’s Business Center of Excellence” upon completion of a peer review and evaluation of excellence in service and outcomes for their clients, primarily women who seek to start or grow their businesses. This sought-after designation provides a voluntary opportunity to earn points with the ultimate goal to achieve the “WBC Excellence” designation. Along with the mark, designated organizations may be offered special benefits and/or invited to participate in exclusive events and training to further their development.


The primary objective of the National Women’s Business Center of Excellence Designation is to recognize organizations that demonstrate commitment and efficacy of the mission, vision, and values of their Women’s Business Center thereby achieving the greatest outcomes for women owned businesses. 

It is expected that the pursuit and attainment of designation will identify gaps and opportunities for the WBC to improve in a variety of areas, including strategic goal-setting, service delivery, continuous improvement and/or peer relationships. In order to fulfill these objectives, AWBC recognizes the value of the organization’s volunteers, leadership team and funders which is reflected in the involvement of these stakeholders in the final stages of the designation attainment.


Candidates for the designation will apply to AWBC and be assigned peer(s) with similar or same organizational function, by AWBC, upon acceptance to the cohort. Peers will remain matched through the entire journey toward designation attainment. Peers are mutually accountable, will help each other and share materials with one another at each milestone meet-up which is facilitated by a staff member at AWBC.

The designation standards and final review of candidates will be supported by a WBC Excellence Task Force comprised of WBC leaders from the AWBC Board and members of the AWBC at large.

Milestone 1: Orientation to the WBC Excellence Designation, 10 pts

  • Meet your peer(s)/ partner(s)
  • Review the process to designation attainment
  • Affirm your commitment to the journey together
  • First Assignment: Be your partner’s customer

Milestone 2: The Customer Experience, 20 pts

  • Partner experience sharing
  • What gaps did you identify in each other’s customer journey?
  • What resources can you share with each other related to your policies, practices or procedures?
  • What strengths can you identify in each other’s service models?
  • Second Assignment: Strategic Plan, Goals and Tracking

Milestone 3: Strategic Plans and Progress Tracking, 20 pts

  • Identify between 3 and 5 strategic goals for this year, either set for you or set by you.
  • Share what progress you’ve made toward these goals or how you will measure success.
  • Discuss how you can or do share your successes with your internal and external stakeholders.
  • If you had access to more resources, what would you hope to accomplish 5 years from now?
  • Next Assignment: Program impact and evaluation measurement

Milestone 4: Impact and Evaluation, 20 pts

  • Define how your organization measures success in the areas of client impact.
  • What is the organization’s method to evaluate program effectiveness?
  • Share examples of programs that have been created, modified or sunsetted as a result of the evaluation process.
  • Share evaluation, program or curriculum materials that may be of interest to the work of your peers.
  • Share a success story for at least one program or training curriculum.
  • Next Assignment: WBC of Excellence Proclamation

Milestone 5: Excellence and Improvement Plan, 20 pts.

  • Draft a proclamation with evidence that points to the WBC’s excellence in quality and service
  • Include your commitment to improving in some area within 2 years
  • WBC Excellence Task Force Signs Off
  • Advisory Board Signs Off
  • Executive Director Signs Off
  • Next Assignment: Celebration and Promotion the WBC Excellence Designation

Milestone 6: Closing Ceremony, 10 pts

  • Bring a funder, advisory board member and a member of the leadership team
  • Share what benefit pursuing the WBC of Excellence designation has brought and will bring to your organization
  • Share something you have seen positive in your peer(s)
  • Opportunity for funders/advisory board and leadership team to share comments.


Must be a member in good standing of the AWBC.


Candidates will submit an application with profile information, and a statement about how they expect to use the designation as well as what they hope to accomplish. The organization will also rate their performance in service delivery before and after the designation.

Link to Participant Tool-Kit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1QSPtbHMJXKwaleUBP8ME8pTDxZkrx9I0?usp=sharing

Course Curriculum

Start Next Lesson Orientation Slides
Milestone 5
Milestone 6