MoneyMindedMoms: Cash in on Government Contracts for Women, Part 1

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Cash in on Government Contracts for Women, Part 1
Mar 02 2011 08:00 PM | Eva Rosenberg  in Erasing & Managing Your Debt -----
With this opportunity, you can't help making money!

This economy is so bad that unemployment rates in some communities are well over the national norm of 10% or so. We know that those numbers don’t include people who have been unemployed for so long that they can’t collect unemployment benefits anymore. Those numbers don’t include those of us who are working, but having to eat unpaid furlough days. (I think my husband is losing nearly two days a month.)

So what are we going to do?

Easy! We are going to take full advantage of the free resources provided by American Express Open to help women-owned businesses get government contracts.

American Express Open has teamed up with the most amazing lady, Lourdes Martin-Rosa, who has extensive experience getting government contracts – and helping others get contracts.

It’s important to note that the US Government is required to set aside 23% of its budget to buy from small businesses. 5% is designated for women-owned businesses. This year, that’s worth about $30 billion! Wow. There’s a lot of money available to us.

The program is called New Contracting Program for Women-owned Small Businesses (WOSB). It even has a special website -

Martin-Rosa’s mission is to help women tap into that $30 billion set aside for women-owned businesses. Martin-Rosa says that last year, 30% of the money designated for women was not claimed. Who gets that money? Larger businesses that know how to bid for these contracts.

Let’s not leave $9 billion on the table this year. Take advantage of the free resources provided by Lourdes and American Express Open at

Why bother? I’ll bet you can find a long list of excuses to talk yourself out of even trying for this, right?

  • You just don’t know enough.
  • You can’t handle the paperwork.
  • You’re not going to win the bid.
  • Your company is too small to handle any government work.
  • Your company is too new or inexperienced to get a contract.
  • It takes forever to get approved.
  • It takes even longer to get paid.
  • What other objections can you find?

Talking to my friend Cindy yesterday, about a related issue, she told me that she had bid on a project at UCLA. Someone had advised her not to bother. UCLA would take six months or more for their approval process. But, friends, let’s face it, if you don’t bid on a project that takes 6-9 months for approval – what will you have 6-9 months from now? Nothing.

Submitting the proposal, you at least have a chance to win it! Right?

What happened to one woman who got involved in the government contract process?

Martin-Rosa tells us about one woman, a meeting planner working from home. She started working her way through the process, and did something smart. This woman didn’t just sit at home, pressing keys on her computer. She got off her tushy and did some networking, too. She attended an annual procurement conference up by the Office of Small and Disadvantage Utilization (OSDBU).

Wandering around, having conversations, making contacts, this lady discovered that the Department of State had a need for someone to coordinate meetings held by and with the various embassies and consulates located here in the United States.

Although it took about 9 months to get the first contract approved, within 2 years, her home-based business has grossed over $170,000. Naturally, she couldn’t do it all alone, so the contract stimulated some hiring, as she took on staff. As her business grows, she is now looking for office space outside the home.

That’s what’s meant to happen with the money. We’re meant to win these contracts, improve our own financial circumstances – and put the money to work in the economy, creating jobs and spreading the wealth. THIS is the trickle-down effect they used to talk about.

In the next article, I will give you an outline of the process to follow to get started. Meanwhile, feel free to start exploring the website, and start taking some of the free courses.

Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at and other tax courses at


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03 March 2011 - 09:41 AM
Suze - this is a great article! One of my main obsticles is the fact that RFPs are difficult to write if you have never done one before as they are very extensive. Can you help with this in any way? I would love to know if there is a way we can see an old winning proposal to help guide us more. Thanks for helping women with this as I'm sure I'm not the only one who is confused on this matter.

Eva Rosenberg 

03 March 2011 - 08:45 PM
Hi Connie,

Did you visit the site at ?

Explore the resources. You will find the information you want!

Best wishes



07 March 2011 - 10:28 AM
Hey Eva - I did check on that site but I must have missed it. Do you know where information on that was? Thanks for your help!


09 March 2011 - 08:38 AM
After being a gov't contractor for so many years, and close to graduating with my masters degree, I've always wondered how I could start up my own contract company and bid for gov't contracts! This is great information, and I signed up for the giveme5 training this afternoon: How to Self-Certify for the WOSB Federal Contract Program.
I plan to continue to sign up for the free webinars and hopefully learn enough to take the next step forward.
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