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Women’s History Month 2024: Celebrating a vital business force

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

It’s all about empowerment.

Every year in March, we as a country honor women’s achievements, resilience and innovation as we observe Women’s History Month.  As a crucial part of that, women-owned small businesses are a vibrant and vital force driving economic growth and diversity in our local communities. In 2024, we’re not just acknowledging but celebrating the powerful impact women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) have in supporting our nation’s economy and in driving important goals like diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. As an organization, GSA is intentional about empowering and supporting women business leaders so they can continue to reach their goals.  

WOSBs are one of the fastest-growing and most impactful segments of the small business community.  Today, there are more than 12 million women-owned small businesses in the United States demonstrating the powerful, job-creating impact of this segment.

As Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU),  I’m proud of our agency’s commitment to support and empower women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Each year, the federal government sets a goal to award 5% of contracting dollars to WOSBs, recognizing the immense value they bring to our economy and communities. For the past 16 years, we’ve backed our words with action, exceeding our WOSB goals and championing women entrepreneurs. Our efforts aren’t just about hitting targets. They’re about fostering greater access and equity in industries where WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged WOSBs have been underrepresented.

For entrepreneurs aspiring to tap into government contracting opportunities, the volume of information can often be overwhelming. However, GSA has readily available resources and support to help you successfully navigate the federal marketplace. For example, when it comes to getting on the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, a small investment of your time can position you for great future success.

The MAS program is the premier vehicle for government sales, including federal, state and local government agencies. Approximately 85% of Schedule suppliers are small businesses. Federal agencies prefer to buy from MAS Schedule contract holders because they know they’re getting approved products and services. It also means GSA has done all the legwork and negotiated the best price and the best value for their dollar.

 If you’re a woman-owned small business ready to take this step to get a GSA schedules contract, here’s how you can get started:

  1. Register your business on The System for Award Management (SAM) is the primary database for vendors doing business with the federal government. Check out our factsheet [PDF] to learn how to register your business on, which is the first step to becoming eligible for federal contracts.
  2. Connect with your local OSDBU small business specialist:  OSDBU has small business specialists across the country in all 11 regions ready to help you. They’re a terrific resource for training, education and other help so you can successfully navigate the federal marketplace.
  3. Federal contract opportunities: As a small business owner, you know how important it is to plan. Use our Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tool to learn about contracting opportunities early in the acquisition process. This tool makes it easier for you to find contracting opportunities and build a business plan to capitalize on those opportunities. The GSA Forecast Tool Factsheet [PDF] [PDF - 1023 KB] explains how to use the tool and its features.
  4. GSA OSDBU support: Knowledge is power, and staying informed about upcoming training opportunities and resources is essential for success. GSA OSDBU offers training, education, and help so you can successfully navigate federal contracting. Check out our great training opportunities on our Events and Training page on Also,  find on-demand videos and information on to learn how to do business with GSA. There, you can learn at your own pace. 

Women have shaped our world with countless innovative contributions across industries; these contributions continue today with the women shaping our economy as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Where GSA can help is our strong track record of expanding opportunities for women-owned small businesses: 

  • In Fiscal Year 2023, we awarded more than $651 million in prime contracts to women-owned small businesses and more than $3.7 billion in subcontracts to women-owned small businesses. These small businesses bring the services and expertise of the private sector into government operations.
  • Although it’s a little early for our FY24 numbers, as of February 28, we’ve already awarded more than $187 million to women-owned small businesses. By expanding access to opportunity and fostering inclusivity, we can help women-owned small businesses reach even greater heights of success.

Vision, motivation, persistence and passion are hallmarks of our nation’s entrepreneurs. Potential is another. Women’s History Month 2024 is our opportunity to highlight the boundless potential across industries for today’s women-owned small businesses and honor women’s many pioneering achievements. They’re driving innovation, creating jobs and inspiring future generations. Let’s continue to support women entrepreneurs to remain a vital force for economic growth, diversity and progress in our nation. Let’s also continue to build a future together where women-owned firms and the people they employ can grow and thrive.

To learn more about GSA and our commitment to the small business community, follow us on X @GSAOSDBU or visit GSA’s Small Business web page.