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Women Owned Contract Rule Welcome, Yet Faces Issues

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 2/7/2011

SBA rule aims to increase number of federal contracts awarded to women-owned firms. However, the agency is facing pressure from Congress to cut its budget.

In October, the U.S. Small Business Administration introduced a new rule setting aside a portion of federal government contracts for women-owned businesses in 83 industries. Since then, organizations have held numerous workshops and symposiums to help this demographic understand this promising news for small businesses.

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The program has been welcomed warmly, seeing as it took more than 15 years and a lawsuit to get off the ground, the Washington Post writes. With this new program, the federal government hopes to finally meet its goal of allocating 5 percent of contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses.

However, that doesn't mean that change will happen immediately or will encompass all ventures.

"There are still quite a few women-owned businesses that have been left out," Margot Dorfman, chief executive of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, told the paper. "Any opportunities that women have to access contracts is a good thing ... but this [program] has a ways to go."

The program was officially launched on February 4, 2011, and will award the first contracts by the fourth quarter. 

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