GSA Blog

GSA Blog Logo
Image of Diversity

GSA Prioritizes Advancing Equity for Small Businesses in Underserved Communities

| Exodie Roe, Associate Administrator, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Post filed in: Small Business

Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and are a critical component of government purchasing. However, small disadvantaged and socioeconomic small businesses in underserved communities face inequities and historically have faced challenges with successfully doing business with the federal government.

Advancing equity and supporting underserved communities across the federal government are  equally important to how GSA does business. We want every small business to have equal access to federal marketplace opportunities.

For this reason, we work to ensure that small disadvantaged and socioeconomic small businesses, especially those in underserved communities, have a seat at the federal procurement table and to maximize their opportunities to win business.

As the Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), here’s a brief overview of how we’re advancing equity for the small business community:

  • We partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration to launch a program to award and manage Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. The SBIR program encourages participation in innovation by all entrepreneurs, including women, people of color and people with disabilities. 

These contracts:

  • fund a diverse portfolio of start-ups to stimulate technological innovation, 
  • meet federal research and development needs, and 
  • increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact. 
  • We are advancing the Federal HBCU Competitiveness Strategy Framework to make it easier for  Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to compete for federal opportunities. Our goal is to create more revenue streams to expand and strengthen these institutions. These streams will ultimately provide more resources to build up the capacity of these institutions to serve even more students. 
  • We are carrying out the U.S. Small Business Administration Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Businesses (EDWOSB) certification improvements. They include:
    • Making it easier for qualified small businesses to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program,
    • Improving the customer experience,
    • Strengthening oversight, and 
    • Maintaining the integrity of the certification process.

A healthy small business community helps us meet our strategic goal of creating more opportunities. To support and expand our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,  we will continue to think critically and strategically on how to make it easier for small disadvantaged and socioeconomic small businesses to work with the federal government both now and in the future.

We are committed to reaching the nation’s small businesses by breaking down barriers for small disadvantaged businesses and socioeconomic small businesses to do business with the government, creating more equitable and inclusive opportunities for everyone.

To learn more about GSA’s commitment to the small business community, follow us on Twitter @GSAOSDBU or visit