BIPOC Women business in government contracting
Our mission is to increase revenue and the success of BIPOC and Women owned businesses by increasing participation in local and federal government contracting. Becoming a certified vendor and navigating the contracting space is intimidating to most BIPOC and woman owned businesses but could be the solution to creating a sustainable business with appropriate cash flow that will promote growth. We seek to scale our current operations to serve more owners.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
BIPOC- and Women-Owned Businesses
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
County of Los Angeles
City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
Per a 2021 report "The Case for Minority Business Contracting Reform in the City of Los Angeles", "In spite of current and previous city administration’s strongly stated support for local community and local small business enterprises, which are mainly comprised of minority-owned businesses, MBEs appear to be losing ground." Half of Latinx businesses closed during the pandemic according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. In the same study "black owned businesses were nearly twice as likely to have shut down compared to the national average. Latinx, immigrant and female owners have also fared poorly." In light of both documented outcomes the need to provide resources to BIPOC and women owned businesses in apparent.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Our program consist of a layered initiative: Three day initiative workshop that walks business owners through the steps of becoming a contractor with the city of Los Angeles and the county of Los Angeles. A six months to one year commitment to walk them through registering as a federal government contractor through SAM.gov, CAGE code and securing the appropriate set-aside certifications to get them started on a path of providing services to local and federal agencies. Additional in person workshops and networking opportunities for all businesses involved. Access to a user friendly internal online portal and mobile app that organizes frequently requested document and progress of various certifications. Regular online and in person sessions with current city, county or SAM.gov portal updates.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
The landscape of Los Angeles BIPOC and women owned businesses will change due to this program because it is a bridge between the intentions of the county and the city to encourage a diverse pool of business owners to participate in providing services to the city and county and resident business owners who don't understand the process or are intimidated by the process of doing business with the city and the county. Although there are current initiatives to assist business owners many of the facilitators of those initiatives are not business owners, have not been through the process and do not understand the unique challenges that Los Angeles BIPOC woman owned business owners face. Our program uses AI and user-friendly technology to walk with the business owners hand in hand through the entire certification process. This will build confidence in our local businesses during the uncertain times of pandemic or economic downturn by adding local city and federal governments as a customer.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
At our current capacity, our initial metric is an increase in the pool of BIPOC and women owned businesses certified to do business with the city, county and federally by 70 businesses in 2022. Our revenue goal is $700K in contracts for 2022-2023. We seek to keep a pace of $1M in contracted revenue and 100 business owners yearly once the project reaches full capacity. With our last June 2022 cohort we added 15 BIPOC women owned businesses as contractors.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 270
Indirect Impact: 2,500