Women-Owned Business Certification Success Story: HR Now!

Gwen Thomas started HR Now!, an Atlanta-based human resource company (www.hrnow.biz), in 1996. With her 20 years experience working in the corporate world for companies such as General Motors, she decided it was time to strike out on her own. Throughout 1995, Thomas began to formulate her plans to establish her own consulting firm. Her goal was to become a human resources consultant to her current employer. She had her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in human resources and experienced all areas of human resource management including labor relations, mergers and acquisitions, and risk management.

Determined to succeed, she created an advisory board of people who knew her professionally to consult with as she started her business.

It was with the advice of the advisory board that she first decided to get certified. One of her clients, an international company, sent her a form to check off her type of business certification. Unsure of what it meant, she showed it to her advisory board who strongly recommended she become certified.

Two years ago she became certified and she has noticed that the corporate side of her business has increased. She attributes that increase to a corporate initiative to develop a strong and diverse supplier base.

“Certification helps to validate strong business practices,” says Thomas. “It shows that I am a serious business owner with a legitimate company.”

To emphasize her point, Thomas is certified as both a woman-owned and minority-owned business with the following organizations: Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC), Georgia Women’s Business Council (GWBC), City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Dekalb County Supplier WMBE Certification, State of Georgia, Governor's Small Business Center, State of Georgia Department of Transportation, U.S. Small Business Administration, National Women Business Owners Corporation, US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, SBA 8 (a) Business Development Program

Recently Thomas partnered with other human resource consultants and IT professionals to build technical, Internet-based solutions. For example, in 2003 she was awarded the contract to provide on-line exit surveys to the Atlanta Public Schools.

In May Thomas was named 2003 Supplier of the Year by GMSDC .