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U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce reports on the largest opportunity loss for women business owners in history.

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Women-Owned Small Businesses Suffer Largest Federal Contracting Opportunity Loss in History

FY2008 Contracting Misses Goal for Contracting with Women-Owned Small Businesses by Over Twelve Billion Dollars

Women-Owned Small Businesses Suffer Largest Federal Contracting Opportunity Loss in HistoryAfter more than a decade of failure to meet federal contracting goals with women, and nearly nine years of delay in the implementation of the Women’s Procurement Program, the recently released FY2008 federal spending report shows that women-owned small businesses suffered the greatest opportunity loss in history. FY2008 federal spending with women missed the paltry five percent goal for spending with women by twenty-two percent representing a shortfall of over $12 Billion in just one year.

“Federal spending increased over $300 Billion between 2001 and 2008, while the federal contracts secured by women-owned firms have seen shortfall after shortfall,” said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “And now, with the release of the FY 2008 data, we find that women-owned businesses lost over $12 Billion of opportunity in FY2008 as the federal government failed to meet the remarkably low goal of five-percent for contracting with women-owned small businesses. For more than ten years, the federal government has failed to meet their own goal. And for more than nine years, the Small Business Administration has failed to implement the Women’s Procurement Program which was established by Congress to assist federal agencies to overcome this tragic shortcoming,” added Dorfman.

>>Read the press release (PDF)

>>Read the report (PDF)

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Reader Comments (3)

As a small woman owned business bidding in the government sector on several jobs in the past year - I was NOT awarded even a single contract. The government fails to meet their goals because they didn't award us the contracts - all of our bids were competitive - not foolishly overpriced & 9 of those bids went to US Army Corp of Engineers NELLIS AIR BASE/CREECH on a job that my company successfully completed fhe first phase of sprinklers/landscapes on building #1/Squad Opps Hangar for Predators in 2005....we have since heard that many of their systems aren't operational....GIVE ME A BREAK - WE WANT THE JOBS.....but we are women & you aren't awarding.....I'VE SHOWN YOU MY COMPANY CAN DO IT....give me another chance.....Ms. Robin J Hart/ANSARDKA & CO DUNS#125207469

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin J Hart

I spent a year bidding a project at 29 Palms, CA. I was told by everyone I bid with that my number was lowest and they were all going into the bid with my number. After the project was awarded, my scope was shopped again. I was called and asked to reduce my bid number to a specific amount, which I agreed to do just to get my foot in the door. I made regular contact for months and was given very little information. I was finally told they went with a supplier they have worked with before at the price I had negotiated. I was their "check" number. When pricing is not the issue, product quality is not the issue, ability to provide the product is not the issue....then it boils down to just "going with who you know/good old boy network" and that's a hard nut to crack.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy McBride

Like Cathy, we have recently bid on a contract with a government agency that is clearly changing bid requirements and making other concessions to favor a very large international company that has suddenly spun off a division as a small company so they can compete. They can't match the specs. We can, but it is clear the contracting agent is somehow in the pocket of this company and ths small business and woman owned set asides are just something they thumb their nose at. No doubt this contracting agent will soon land a plumb position with the big company and the spin off will be "purchased" back into the big company. So much corruption and all of it favors the "who you know from college" good old boys network.

Why isn't the government enforcing the set asides when, like Cathy, we have the best bid. Is there a process for forcing re-evaluation of contracts that are not offered to the best bidder or with set asides in mind at all?

April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy Harris

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