On March 2, 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the federal government has surpassed its 5% contracting goal for women-owned small businesses for the first time in history.

“Meeting this goal means five percent is no longer our ceiling but our foundation upon which to build,” says SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

WOSM-chart_0316“A recent SBA-commissioned study revealed women-owned businesses already employ eight million American workers, but when it comes to receiving contracts and capital, women are still under-represented.

“That’s why the SBA has added 36 new industry categories where women can now compete for set-aside contracts and sole-source awards.

"This will dramatically expand contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses, paving the way for new jobs and industries to be created.”

In FY 2015, 5.05% or $17.8 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars were awarded to WOSBs, the first time this specific benchmark has ever been reached.

A recent report showed that WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented in 113 North American Classification System groups.

These findings will be used to expand opportunities for women-owned businesses and provide a broader range of industries for contracting officers to find eligible women-owned businesses.

More Good News

Overall, the federal government surpassed its 23% small business procurement goal for the third year in a row, awarding an all-time high of 25.75%, or $90.7 billion, in federal contracts to small businesses.

These contracting funds support more than 537,000 jobs and have a significant impact on job creation, innovation, and growth in communities throughout the country.

Federal contract dollars awarded to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and small disadvantaged businesses also reached historic highs.

For the 4th consecutive year, the federal government exceeded the goal for SDVOSBs, achieving 3.93% or $13.8 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars.

SDBs received 10.06% or $35.4 billion of all small business eligible contracting dollars, the highest percentage in history.

Join us for CBIA's first-ever When Women Lead, a conference on women in business at Infinity Music Hall in Hartford, June 8, from 7:30 to noon. For more information, call 860.244.1900.