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FY18 NDAA Includes Key Provision for Women Government Contractors

Thursday, November 16, 2017  
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FY18 NDAA Includes Key Provision for Women Government Contractors

Congress sends bipartisan legislation to the presidents desk directing the Small Business Administration to study opportunities for all socio-economic categories of small business, including women-owned small businesses, in the government’s largest contracts

Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2017—Today Congress passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes a provision directing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to study small business participation on Multiple Award Contracts. The SBA study is in response to a Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) study revealing that women small business owners are being shut out of large government contracts.

The NDAA legislation will now be sent to the president to sign into law.

The provision directs the SBA to address concerns that women-owned small business participation is underrepresented in Multiple Award Contracts, the kind of contracts many federal agencies favor because they create a pre-approved list of businesses that can supply unlimited goods or services during a specified period, of up to 10 years. The study also will examine the participation of all other socio-economic categories of small businesses, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, those participating in the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program and participants in the 8(a) program.

“This is a big win for women small business owners. It will  help them get into the game and win some of the government’s largest and most lucrative contracts by helping us fully understand the issue, which is the first step in finding a solution,” said WIPP President Jane Campbell. We urge the president to sign this into law immediately.

A report WIPP released in December, Do Not Enter: Women Being Shut Out of U.S. Government’s Biggest Contracts, analyzed 19 of the government’s largest and most lucrative contracts and found that 12 have requirements that ensure certain socio-economic groups have access to the contracts. But just a quarter have such requirements for women-owned firms. Furthermore, a 2015 Department of Commerce report shows that the odds of a woman-owned small business winning a federal contract are 21 percent lower than those of their counterparts.

WIPP has made solving this problem a top priority and worked with Sens. Joni Ernst and Kirsten Gillibrand, who originally introduced the legislation, to more fully understand the issue.

“We already know the country has a lot to gain by unleashing the economic potential of women entrepreneurs,” said Lisa Firestone, WIPP Board Chairwoman and owner of Managed Care Advisors, a government contractor based in Bethesda. “Women own 10 million U.S. businesses, generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and employ 8.4 million people. Imagine what they could do when competing on a level playing field.

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About WIPP

WIPP is a national nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of women entrepreneurs—strengthening their impact on our nation’s public policy, creating economic opportunities, and forging alliances with other business organizations. www.WIPP.org

 

 

 

 


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