They are both women owned business certifications, but the similarities stop there.
WOSB certification requires business owners to verify not only they are woman owned, but that they are a small business. They also are required to verify their NAICS codes when processing. This gives it the upper hand in government contracting terms. The government is required by law to “set aside” award money to small businesses, especially women owned small businesses.
WBE certification does not require NAICS codes and can be medium or large sized companies. Its harder to get traction in the government contracting sector with just a WBE. Its more valuable for business to get a WOSB certification. WOSB qualifies for set aside contracts, while WBE does not. Also, WBE does not have a size requirement while WOSB must be small businesses according to the SBA.