An SBA final rule, effective Oct 14th 2015, allows an agency to award sole-source contracts to eligible Woman-Owned or Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB/EDWOSB).
A Sole-Source contract WOSB/EDWOSB contract can be awarded if:
The WOSB/EDWOSB business is eligible under specific NAICS codes that the SBA has determined are under-represented in federal contracting.
The contract is for less than $6.5 million for manufacturing, or less than $4 million for all other contracts
The contracting officer determines that the pricing offered is ‘fair and reasonable’ ( FAR 15.4)
The contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that only one WOSB/EDWOSB small business can perform the requirements.
(If there are two or more businesses eligible, then the contract can be set-aside for competition between eligible WOSB/EDOSBs)