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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 23, 2000


This is Small Business Week. In recognition of the vital role that women-owned small businesses play in our lives, our communities, and in the nation's economy, the President today signed an Executive Order reaffirming the Administration's commitment to meeting a five percent goal for Federal government procurement of goods and services from women-owned businesses. The Executive Order directs departments and agencies to take a series of steps to make this goal a reality.

The Executive Order requires departments and agencies to develop long-term comprehensive strategies to expand opportunities for women-owned small businesses. Included in these measures are (a) designating a senior acquisition official to identify and promote contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses; (b) requiring contracting officers, to the maximum extent practicable, to include women-owned small businesses in competitive acquisitions; (c) implementing mentor-protege programs to include women owned firms; (d) offering industry-wide as well as industry specific outreach, training, and technical assistance programs for women-owned small businesses; (e) and require agencies that fail to meet their goals to establish an action plan to increase participation in future.

The Executive Order also directs the U.S. Small Business Administration to: (a) establish an Office of Women's Procurement; (b) provide more extensive training and technical assistance to women-owned small businesses; (c) develop a single website to provide information on procurement information to women-owned small businesses; (d) develop an interactive data base containing information on women-owned small businesses; and (e) work with state governments to share information concerning procurement opportunities.

This order advances the Administration's commitment to protecting and strengthening women-owned small businesses.