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ChallengeHER: Creating Procurement Access and Opportunity for Women-Owned Small Businesses

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ChallengeHER: Creating Procurement Access and Opportunity for Women-Owned Small Businesses

By Marie Johns, Former Deputy Administrator
Published: April 23, 2013 Updated: April 23, 2013

 

Federal contracting with small businesses is a win-win.  Every year, the U.S. government awards nearly $100 billion in federal contracts to small businesses, allowing these businesses to grow their revenues and create jobs right here at home.  Meanwhile, the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the United States.

During the first three years of the Obama Administration, the federal government awarded $286.3 billion in federal contract dollars to small businesses—a $32 billion increase over the three preceding years, even as contracting spending overall has declined across the federal government. 

Across the board, the Obama Administration and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are committed to providing access and removing barriers for small, minority, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses by changing the process and the culture surrounding federal contracting.

We’re proud of our achievements so far in implementing the Woman Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program and we are making strides in bringing more women-owned firms into the federal government’s supply chain.

Today, I had the opportunity to announce our latest efforts to engage women-owned small businesses in the federal procurement process at the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Opportunity Forum Luncheon presented by SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN, here in Washington, D.C.

The ChallengeHER Campaign is an exciting new initiative that leverages the resources of SBA, WIPP, and American Express OPEN to promote the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program and bring more women-owned firms into the federal government’s supply chain.

In the coming months, we’ll be hosting ChallengeHER events across the country to help women business owners better understand the procurement opportunities available from the federal government, including events in:

  • Phoenix, AZ;
  • Seattle, WA;
  • New Orleans, LA;
  • Denver, CO;
  • Atlanta, GA;
  • San Francisco, CA; and,
  • New York, NY.

At these events, we’ll also be playing “matchmaker”—connecting women-owned small businesses with the decision-makers and contract opportunities housed by our federal partners, both at the national level and in their local communities.  And by increasing our family of women-owned small businesses, government contracting officers will have a broader base to consider when making their purchasing decisions.

We’ll also be training women-owned small businesses on how to register in our System for Award Management, which serves as our government contracting portal for all small business owners that want to do business with the federal government, and learn about eligibility requirements for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, which allows contract set asides for women-owned small businesses in certain industries.

A robust supply chain of innovative small businesses makes our country more globally competitive, encourages more corporations to bring production back to the U.S., and helps create jobs here at home. Our goal, and the goal of the ChallengeHER Campaign, is to ensure that women-owned small businesses across the country have the access and opportunity they need to succeed.

 Stay tuned for further information on the ChallengeHER Campaign and events near you.

About the Author:

Marie Johns

Former Deputy Administrator

Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Comments:

I'm looking forward to receiving information about the Seattle, WA event.
Please send information for the Atlanta ChallengeHer event.
Hi, I am equally excited about the ChallengeHer event in Atlanta. I think it would be a good forum to start my network of local women business owners. Don't want to miss event please post information soon!
This is also a request for information pertinent to Northern California. Thank you in advance.
Please send information regarding the San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix events. Thank you.
I am VERY interested in attending in the New York area. Please let me know when more information becomes available!
Please send me info on the San Francisco event. Thanks!
Please provide information on the Seattle event.
SBA has an excellent loan program called Contract CAPLine, which can be used to finance 100% of the contract costs. This is important to know when you are bidding on contracts-it may allow you to take on larger jobs than you have the current financial capacity to handle! Ask your local SBA office for details. It would be my pleasure to explain the program to you, and direct you to the SBA or lender closest to you.       Please note that Community members may not include personally identifiable information, such as phone numbers or email addresses, in posts. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Can you please send the link for the event at San francisco, plus the dates and the time of the event. It would be highly appreciated.

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