The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is teaming up with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express (AMEX) to host two ChallengeHER events. The initiative, now celebrating its 11th year, has successfully aided women-owned small businesses in gaining a foothold in the lucrative federal contracting arena.
Scheduled for September 14 in Phoenix, Arizona, and October 24 in Silver Spring, Maryland, these events underscore the federal government’s commitment to diversifying its supply chain by integrating more women-owned firms.
ChallengeHER’s main objective is to enlighten women entrepreneurs about the opportunities the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program presents. It acts as a bridge, connecting government agencies with qualified women-owned small business contractors. The result? A tangible increase in the representation of women-owned firms in the federal government’s roster of suppliers.
Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the figurehead of the U.S. Small Business Administration, emphasized the transformative impact of ChallengeHER, stating, “Our continued collaboration with Women Impacting Public Policy and American Express on the ChallengeHER initiative reaffirms the SBA’s commitment to leveling the playing field for women-owned businesses in the federal marketplace by advocating for them and matching them to the buyers directly so they can win more contracts.”
For small business owners keen to explore the intricacies of federal contracting, these events offer an unparalleled chance to engage with industry leaders and gather critical insights. They will benefit from networking sessions, fostering connections between women entrepreneurs and government contractors. Moreover, they can participate in comprehensive training workshops, steered by domain experts, detailing the nuances of integrating into the public sector supply chain.
Angela Dingles, Acting President & CEO of WIPP, expressed her gratitude and pride in the initiative, noting that “In its 11th year, ChallengeHER has catered to almost 26,000 businesses. We equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need, especially during these transformative times.”
This move by the SBA, WIPP, and AMEX is in line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s heightened focus on small businesses. Earlier in July, the administration proudly declared that it had surpassed its small business federal contracting target for FY 22. An unparalleled 26.5% of federal contract funds, equating to a staggering $162.9 billion, was allocated to small businesses. Additionally, Women-Owned Small Businesses clinched contracts worth over $26 billion for the fourth consecutive year.
Small Business Deals
For those interested in attending, the details of the upcoming ChallengeHER Road Tour are as follows:
- Phoenix, AZ: September 14, 2023
- Silver Spring, MD: October 24, 2023
For small business owners, especially women entrepreneurs, these events herald an era of increased access to federal contracting opportunities, ensuring they play a significant role in shaping the nation’s economic landscape.
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