In an effort to equalize certification standards across the country, the National Association of Women REO Brokerages will offer women-owned business certification to women in the default services industry. The women-owned business certification allows women business owners to seek contracts from the federal government and gain recognition as a legitimate woman-owned firm in the U.S. The government currently has a goal of  5% of contracts going to women-owned businesses, but has been short of that goal. The current industry standard expects women to be self-certified. There is no real way to monitor if businesses applying for federal contracts are in fact owned by women. In addition, the certification process varies by state and by jurisdiction (county, city, state and federal). Cade Holleman, programs coordinator of NAWRB, told HousingWire this variance inevitably leads to fraudulent activity and questionable credibility. The organization decided to take the process of certification inhouse to streamline it and solidify validity of the business owner. "At the end of the day, what we want to have is a unified, certified body of women businesses owners in the distressed services industry," he said. "We tried to outsource this certification, but no one could meet our needs. We ended up in the position to do just that." Holleman is also pushing for the federal government to adopt a unified manner of women-owned business certification. He believes that so long as the independent certification firms are all using the same process — one that mirrors the process of  other business sectors — the government can more easily mandate it. Holleman said it would be for the good of all women in business. "Our organization is about helping restore America's spot at the table, and I want to reserve a seat for women in the economic recovery." Write to Christine Ricciardi.