Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
What is the Women Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative?
The Women Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative (WVOSBI) is the first program of its kind in the federal government. WVOSBI's mission is to equip, empower and educate Women Veteran entrepreneurs for success and economic opportunities. In addition, the WVOSBI seeks to:
- Collaborate and leverage commercial and other government agency intellectual capital
- Raise awareness of the need to increase Women Veteran-Owned Small Business (WVOSB) utilization in the Federal and Commercial marketplace
- Expand and enable access, economic, procurement and learning opportunities for WVOSBs
- Increase collaboration with other Federal agencies, commercial entities, non-profits, and educational institutions
- Foster collaborations and strategic partnerships amongst WVOSBs
- WVOSBs have increased by 10% in VA OSDBU’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP)
- WVOSBs garnering relationships with commercial and federal entities
- WVOSBs teaming up and supporting each other
- WVOSBs more aware of what is required to do business with VA, other governmental agencies and commercial
- Increased number of WVOSBs on VA Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) strongly supports the Veterans First contracting program to ensure that Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) have priority over all other socio-economic categories.
- Women Veterans are the fastest growing demographic for VA and the fastest growing demographic for newly formed businesses.
- Women Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (WVOSB) are underutilized in the VA, federal and commercial marketplace.
- OSDBU seeks to increase WVOSB participation as prime vendors in VA and to meet VA’s goal of 5% participation, which it has struggled to achieve in recent years.
- The WVOSB Initiative (WVOSBI) has a major impact on VA’s ability to meet stated small business participation goals.
VA OSDBU’s mission is to enable Veterans to gain access to economic opportunity by leveraging the federal procurement system and expanding participation of procurement-ready small businesses. The WVOSBI is for WVOSBs who want and qualify to do business with VA and the federal government as prime contractors.
- VA Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)
- 3-5 full-time employees
- 3-5 years in business
- $500-1M in revenue minimum
- Capabilities in underrepresented North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, Examples: information technology, manufacturing, construction, etc.
- Past performance as a prime contractor or subcontractor within specified business sectors, agencies, capabilities, and NAICS codes within the past three years
“This is an awesome program; it is positioning us for success. It’s a great benefit and we are gaining a wealth of knowledge.”
- WVOSBI participant
“I was very blessed to have been chosen to be a part of the very first cohort. VA OSDBU staff went above and beyond to ensure that we were SDVOSB, VOSB, or WOSB certified. "The VetBiz Ladies" set up and aligned our business goals with the VA procurement system, so we would be strategically placed to go after and win VA bid opportunities. This program brought 29 WOSBs from different states, which are in different stages of success within their organizations together to groom, mentor, educate and introduce us to some of the best “movers and shakers” within the VA procurement world. The comradery, wisdom, and lessons learned shared between the participants are incredibly valuable as I work to grow and expand my business footprint.”
- WVOSBI participant
“Thank you to VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for their support and mentorship. The #VetBizLady cohort provided opportunities and network capabilities to women-owned businesses not just in the D.C. area, but also across the country. I have had the pleasure of meeting some very brilliant women. The training we received was immeasurable and, without question, of very high quality; the program opened many doors within industries that have otherwise been closed to women entrepreneurs. The OSDBU team have put us at an advantage by giving us access to much needed (and sometimes little thought of) resources and created events that showcased our businesses and what women bring to the table.”
- WVOSBI participant
“Through the WVOSB Initiative with VA OSDBU, my company has been honored to be in the first group of 29 women Veteran-owned small business to go through this program, which has inspired and empowered us to succeed and WIN government contracts. I have met some of the best successful women-Veteran business owners who have the heart to mentor me to be the best. This program has afforded my company the opportunity to collaborate with several of the other women in the group that are in my industry. If I was not in this program, I might not have had this opportunity to meet them. I recommend that all WVOSBs apply to be a part of this program. It will open doors that you haven't been able to get within the federal government, network with extraordinary women Veterans, and meet decision-makers.”
- WVOSBI participant
- Teaming and partners
- Becoming “procurement ready”
- Obtaining Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) or VOSB certifications
- Collaboration and building a community with other women Veterans through events, opportunities, and sisterhood
- Ability to subcontract or team together
- Awareness of capabilities and underutilization of WVOSBs
- Access to procurement decision-makers in the VA, other government agencies, and commercial entities
- Leverage commercial, federal and educational entities that have a shared goal to empower women Veterans
- Improve their well-being by bringing resources together from across the country to create access to capital business ecosystems