83 industries in which women are underrepresented in the federal contracting marketplace

"Despite their growth and the fact that women lead some of the strongest and most innovative companies, women-owned firms continue to be underrepresented in the federal contracting marketplace," according to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, recently quoted on GovernmentExecutive.com.

On Monday, Oct. 4, the SBA filed a final rule creating a long-awaited procurement program, which focuses on 83 industries in which women are underrepresented in the federal contracting marketplace. Program participants will be eligible for set-aside deals of less than $3 million for most contracts and $5 million for manufacturing.

To be eligible for the program, a firm must be 51 percent owned, controlled and primarily managed by one or more women who are U.S. citizens. The firm almost must qualify as “small” in its primary industry.

SBA now has 120 days to implement the program. The agency plans to use that time to educate and train federal contracting officers on the new requirements and to finalize a database of eligible companies. The program should be officially up and running by early February 2011, according to SBA spokeswoman Hayley Matz.

You can download more information about this program from the SBA website.

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