SECTION I: ELIGIBILITY
A person or organization is eligible for membership provided they qualify under one of the following categories:
Female Business Owner
Any woman business owner is eligible as a member under the female business owner category, which is the only voting membership if the following criteria are met:
A.) The prospective member has devoted a substantial portion of her time and professional skills to a legal business that has served as a main stream of income for no less than one year.
B.) There is no conflict between the potential member's business activities and an existing member in the district to which she is assigned.
This non-voting membership shall be comprised of individuals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, business associations, or other organizations, which have objectives and practices that align with the SCWIB's mission and do not present a direct conflict of interest to an existing member's business activities. Membership will be established on a case-by-case basis through trade negotiations to facilitate a mutual benefit between SCWIB and the prospective Strategic Partner. For example, membership fees can be covered by bartering services, donating products, sponsoring events, and submitting large cash donations. A special trade agreement will be established for each Strategic Partner.
Aspiring Business Owner
A woman who has demonstrated she has started the process of opening a for-profit business by presenting incorporation papers, a business license, or federal identification number can apply for this non-voting membership if she has not been or has no current or future expectations of engaging in a business activity that conflicts with an existing member categorized under the Aspiring Business Owner or Female Business Owner. Within one year after membership acceptance as an Aspiring Business Owner, a woman must provide documentation as prescribed by the Membership Committee that her business is a primary source of income, and she devotes a significant portion of her professional time and talents to this business. If these requirements cannot be met, the Aspiring Business Owner will not continue membership. When an Aspiring Business Owner clearly substantiates that her business activities produce a main income stream within one year of initial membership, she can be afforded the opportunity to upgrade her membership to the Female Business Owner category.
The CEO and Board of Trustees Chairperson along with the Membership Committee determine the eligibility of membership. If a concern arises about a prospective member's involvement in a similar activity of an existing member, then the CEO will review the membership application, discern if a conflict of interest exists, and make a final judgment on the application approval or denial.
SECTION II: MEMBER DISTRICTS
SCWIB has three membership districts. The membership districts do not constitute separate entities, and they must operate in accordance with the SCWIB by-laws and all policies set by the Board of Trustees. Districts' use of the logo and organizational name will be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. All district member records, funds, equipment and supplies shall be the property of SCWIB. For each district, membership shall be available to one member per business activity or activities. Therefore, no duplication of business involvement shall be allowed within a district.
SECTION III: MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
After receiving a membership application at the SCWIB post office, the CEO will review the prospective member's application to determine if the established membership guidelines have been satisfied. Applications of prospective members that meet the membership criteria will be sent to the Membership Committee who will verify that the applicant has not been or expects to be involved in a business activity of an existing member in the district for which they conduct business, and they qualify as a member under one of the membership categories. Prospective members will be notified of their membership approval or denial by the Membership Committee. Upon approval, a person can be declared a member after payment of annual dues.