For Immediate Release
Washington, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently hosted its fourth annual small business conference to provide small business leaders an opportunity to learn how they can participate in development assistance programs. USAID's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) coordinated the meeting around the theme, "USAID and Small Businesses: Moving Small Business Forward."
Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg welcomed more than 200 attendees to the daylong event. In his remarks, he described the critical role that small businesses are playing in the Agency's procurement reform strategy. He stated that USAID is "streamlining Agency policies and processes to reduce our dependence on large multi-year contracts and replacing them with smaller more flexible awards accessible to small businesses." These efforts are already showing major results as the Agency improved in FY 2010 in nine out of ten categories of small business prime and subcontract awards.
Other key speakers included: Beatrice Hidalgo from the White House Office of Public Engagement, Calvin Jenkins from the Small Business Administration, Maureen Shauket, USAID Senior Procurement Executive, and Mauricio Vera, USAID Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. Ms. Hidalgo stressed the Administration's commitment to small businesses - the innovators and engineers of our economy.
The conference also included two panels: "USAID Hot Topics" featured Susan Reichle, Assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning; Paul Weisenfeld, Assistant to the Administrator for Food Security; and Amie Batson, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health. The other panel, "Challenges and Successes of USAID's Small Business Partners" featured Indira Ahluwalia, President, Development & Training Services, Inc.; Robert Otto, President, Integra Government Services International, LLC; and Carlos Rivera, CEO, Camris International.
The highlight of the conference was the "Lunch with the Leaders" segment in which small business representatives met informally with senior representatives from all the major USAID bureaus and independent offices.
The conference ended with a matchmaking and networking session. This enabled the attendees to meet one on one with technical and contracting representatives from USAID'S relevant bureaus and independent offices, as well as the State Department, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and several USAID large prime contractors.
For more information about USAID, please visit www.usaid.gov.
Last updated: June 01, 2012