As if winning federal contacts wasn't hard enough, a new study shows that it's even harder for women-led businesses.
A new report from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) has revealed that businesses owned by women are less likely to win the federal contracts they need.
WIPP analyzed 19 of the U.S. government's biggest contracts, ranging from $1.25 billion to $22.3 billion. Of those 19 contracts, 12 had criteria reserved for specific socio-economic groups such as veterans and just three of those 12 had criteria for small businesses owned by women.
The nine that didn't include criteria for businesses owned by women represented $100 billion, according to WIPP.
"Women-owned firms are 21% less likely to win government contracts, despite the fact that they’re a growing force in the economy," said WIPP president Jane Campbell.
Despite the dismal findings of WIPP, it turns out that the number of women investing in business is growing, and so is the number of women-owned companies. According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, the percentage of women who are angel investors increased from 5% in 2014 to 25% last year. Angel investors are defined as those people or groups who invest in either very young or very small companies.
The number of women who own companies is increasing fast, as well. In fact, women own more than one-third of all businesses in the United States, accounting for the employment of more than 9 million people and a $1.6 trillion contribution to the economy annually.
Only 5.4 million businesses in the U.S. have employees, but of those that do, woman-owned businesses make up an impressive number.
However, the number of women who own businesses may not change the fact that they receive only a small portion of government contracting funds when compared to their male competition.
That also means their federal contracting proposals are even more important. While the problem certainly isn't a lack of quality proposal creation software, it's a lack of funding allocated to women-owned businesses submitting federal contracts.
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet recently explained that this year marked the first time the U.S. government awarded 5% of all federal contracts to businesses owned by women. According to Contreras-Sweet, that goal is one that had been set a few decades ago.
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