According to the Equity in Contracting for Women Act, businesses owned by women are supposed to be awarded 5 percent of all federal government goods and services contracts. It turns out that over the past few years, women-owned businesses have received only 3.4 percent of awards.
Because of the size of the federal government, a difference of 1.6 percentage points adds up to $5 billion per year. And with huge federal economic stimulus spending expected over the next few years, the difference could easily reach $8 billion by 2010.
Needless to say, federal contracting is a huge opportunity for women-owned businesses.
To help women-owned businesses sell to the federal government, Women Impacting Public Policy—a bipartisan, nonprofit, public policy organization that advocates on behalf of women—has teamed up with American Express to offer a series of interactive podcasts and Web-based seminars on government contracting.
The series is designed to help business owners get the tools and information they need to create successful contracting bids and ultimately increase the contracts awarded to women-owned businesses.
The series runs throughout January. You can register at http://www.wipp.org/events.asp.
Steve King is a partner at Emergent Research , where he leads an ongoing research project to identify, analyze , and forecast the global trends and shifts impacting small business. He blogs at www.smallbizlabs.com.