ChallengeHER Gives Women-Owned Small Businesses an Extra Boost in 2013

Less than halfway through the year, 2013 has already brought promising opportunities for women small business owners. In January, a new provision removed the $4 million and $6.5 million caps on federal contract awards in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting program, giving women small business owners a greater chance to get their fair share of government contracts.

While the removal of the caps was a giant step forward, it also emphasized the need for women small business owners to be proactive in seeking contracting opportunities and seizing all resources available to them.

That’s why I’m happy to share that last week, the Small Business Administration, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express OPEN announced the launch of ChallengeHER — an exciting national initiative aimed at boosting government contracting opportunities for women small business owners.

By leveraging the resources from the SBA, WIPP and American Express OPEN, I am optimistic that ChallengeHER will give women business owners the knowledge and tools needed to compete in the government contracting marketplace and help empower the success of the WOSB program.

ChallengeHER will offer women small business owners online training, mentoring opportunities and one-on-one access to government buyers at live events across the country. These events will have a “matchmaking” component that will connect small businesses with decision-makers at various government agencies.

For instance, the next program event on May 23 in Washington, D.C., will allow women small business owners to meet with representatives and decision-makers from the Department of Energy and discuss available procurement opportunities. Similar events are scheduled for cities like Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, New Orleans and New York, with a total of nine slated for 2013.

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