Women Owned Small Business in Government Contracts
Women are changing the face of America's economy, the Bureau of the Census has reported. Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are considered to be increasing in number, range, diversity and earning power. As women business owners expand their companies, they contribute to the expansion of the national economy. Annually, the DoD awards virtually $2 billion in prime contracts and $2.4 billion in subcontracts to WOSB issues. All DoD subcontracting plans are required to have a separate goal for awards to WOSBs. The DoD considers the degree of participation by small business concerns when awarding contracts. The focal point of the DoD WOSB program is the provision of efficient outreach, training and technical assistance in order to boost the accessibility of WOSB concerns to DoD procurement opportunities. The WOSB program has three objectives. They are to facilitate, preserve, and strengthen full participation of women-owned small businesses in the DoD acquisition programs; to promote efforts to achieve the government wide 5% goal for prime and subcontract awards to women-owned small businesses, and to support the growth of women-owned small businesses through outreach and technical assistance. To assist WOSB concerns in gaining access to DoD procurement opportunities, the Military Departments, Defense Agencies, and subordinate commands are assigned WOSB prime contracting and subcontracting goals. Each must report progress towards meeting these goals. Section 7106 of Public Law 103-355 established a government-wide goal for WOSB concerns at not less than 5% of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year. Over the past ten years DoD has experienced a steady increase in WOSB prime contract and subcontract awards in terms of both dollars and percentage of total DoD awards ("Women-Owned Small Business"). As an aid to support the growth of women-owned small businesses there are several programs whose mission is to create an environment for maximum participation by woman-owned business. Four major programs that women-owned small businesses use as prime resources are Women in Defense, National Women's Business Council, Small Business Administration Office of Women's Business Ownership and Women's Business Center. The first major resource discussed is Women in Defense known as WID. The WID has a mission which is to cultivate and support the advancement and recognition of women in all aspects of national security. Members of this non-profit professional organization, which includes men and women, have careers related to the defense of the United States and national security. WID is a non-profit organization which has provided women a formal environment for professional growth through networking, education, and career development. This association resides with the National Defense Industrial Association in Arlington, Virginia which represents all facets of the defense and technology industrial base and serves all military services. Incorporated in 1985, Women in Defense are governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. Appointed committees carry out the association's mission. WID has chapters throughout the United States. Secondly, is the National Women's Business Council. The National Women's Business Council is a bi-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The Council's mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women's business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector marketplaces from start-up to success to significance. The National Women's Business Council was established as part of the Women's Ownership Act of 1988 (also known as House Resolution 5050) as an...
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