SBAIC currently has more than 150 small business members spread across nearly 25 U.S. states, of which more than half are small disadvantaged businesses (i.e., HubZone, minority-owned, 8(a), woman-owned, veteran-owned). Our members work in every development sector, including agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment and global climate change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, global health, science, technology and innovation and working in crisis and conflict. With an average of 15 years of U.S. federal government experience, each of our members brings a wide range of expertise in business intelligence and analytics, capacity building, disaster response, economic development, education, gender analysis, IT, knowledge management, public financial management, tourism, workforce development.

Our small business members are prime contractors on 80 percent of the work we implement, and many of the contracts are equivalent in size and complexity to those held by larger entities. Contracts range from $100,000 to $42 million. These contracts are managed using U.S. government compliant financial and program management systems. Staffed by development entrepreneurs, former U.S. government staff and large-business executives, our small businesses operate with a combination of seasoned oversight, agility and innovation characteristic of smaller organizations.

SBAIC was established in the early 2000s by a dedicated group of U.S. small businesses working in international development to promote small business utilization at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). After tremendous growth in both membership and stature under Indira Ahluwalia’s leadership from 2010-2012, there was a need to formalize the organization. During Betsy Bassan’s time as Chair from 2013-2015, we registered as a tax exempt organization, created an annual dues system for our members, and established a Board of Directors to spearhead the annual strategic planning process for setting SBAIC’s advocacy agenda and Committee goals and activities. In 2016, Carlos Rivera was elected the Chair of SBAIC and under his leadership we expanded our attention from solely focusing on USAID to include all 20 U.S. government agencies providing foreign assistance.

Growing U.S. Small Businesses Globally