Administration Shafts Women-Owned Businesses

As the Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, Senator John Kerry called out Bush and the Small Business Administration (SBA) concerning their lack of regard for women-owned businesses. Here’s a snippet of Kerry’s comments:
“Women business owners continue to be short-changed by the administration…The number of women-owned businesses is growing at more than twice the rate of all firms, but women entrepreneurs aren’t getting their fair share of the capital, counseling or contracts. There’s no place for the ol’ boys club in our government. We need to ensure that, with a smart business plan and a lot of hard work, every American entrepreneur can achieve success.”
Of the $300 billion in contracts awarded by the government, women-owned businesses (which are 30 percent of all businesses in the US) are expected to receive five percent. Yet they’re only given three. Although it doesn’t seem like much, this means that they lose out on about $6 billion per year. Additionally, (and not surprisingly) the administration has refused to implement a women’s contracting program to help women-owned businesses obtain access to federal contracts.
As infuriating as this is, I’m glad to see that our old friend (sniff, sniff) is back and doing his thang for a good cause.

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  1. Posted April 30, 2005 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Why do all the posts here lean toward a pro-sexism stance?
    Any program that prefers one gender is sexist by definition.
    Equality, not reverse sexism.

  2. Posted April 30, 2005 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    You are correct that equality is, and should be, the goal. However, I don’t think that when 30% of small businesses are female owned and those business get 3-5% of the contracts we’ve come close to equality or Vanessa is pushing a “pro-sexism” stance here. Now, if women-owned business were only legitimately eligible to bid on about contracts that came to 10% of funds available and they only won bids that came to 3% of funds available, you’d have an argument to imply women are inappropriately asking for quotas to demand equal share of the funds.

  3. Posted May 1, 2005 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    The problem is what is missing from the statistics provided—specifically, how many of these businesses actually attempt to sell to the government? Of the 30% of businesses owned by women, what percentage of these businesses are relevant to government spending (for example, how many female-owned businesses build assault rifles and jet fighters)? Of the businesses that *are* relevant, how many of these actually make bids for government contracts? Maybe these businesses only try for 3-5% of the money?

  4. Posted May 1, 2005 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t that information available unde FOI?

  5. Posted July 12, 2005 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, one must really understand the current procurement systems of the federal government and how they are currently setup in a way that actually makes it harder for women-owned small businesses to obtain government contracts.
    It is not our fault that back in the 70′s the government setup targeted set-asides to assist targeted business owner groups to obtain government contracts.
    It is not our fault that these very targeted programs now make it more difficult for women to compete — as they do not have a targeted set-aside.
    It is not our fault that the contracting officers themselves have indicated that without a women-owned targeted program, they cannot effectively reach out to the women’s marketplace.
    Yes – there are plenty of women seeking government contracts. And lots of rhetoric about special programs and sexism. I work on this issue every day and I can tell you women have been left out – run around – played games with politically and are sick and tired of the games.
    You think we own businesses and don’t want the opportunity to sell to the government? Do you think women business owners are just plain stupid? Women business owners are seeking all opportunities available to them – and government contracting is one of the biggest markets available.
    For more information, go here –

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