On May 22, many SBAIC members and colleagues from USAID and many other businesses doing work for USAID came together after the USAID Small Business Conference to celebrate the progress of the partnership between U.S. small businesses and USAID.
There was much to celebrate, including SBAIC member Development Training Services, Inc. (dTS) winning the 2013 USAID Small Business Award. dTS is owned by Indira Ahluwalia, who served as Co-Chair of SBAIC from January 2010 to January 2013.
SBAIC Co-Chair Betsy Bassan made a few remarks about SBAIC for the group of over 60 attendees, highlighting the enormous progress SBAIC has made for our members over the past year. This ranges from increasing the overall receptivity to small business issues within USAID, the new 2014 Mission performance indicator on small business utilization (one of our advocacy goals set in 2013), a recent very positive message from Administrator Shah to all missions on the importance of small business in realizing the USAID FORWARD agenda, to the increased professionalization of SBAIC — we are now legally registered and have almost doubled in membership to 125. Our board meets monthly and we have four active committees.
Ms. Bassan lauded the work of the committees — which include procurement, communication, membership, and outreach — and especially thanked the Communications Committee for organizing the reception and upgrading our ability to feature the work of small businesses via a new website and our newsletter. Ms. Bassan thanked USAID for our strong partnership; without champions such as Mauricio Vera we could not possibly be as effective. She closed by encouraging members to get engaged in our work by coming to bimonthly membership meetings and joining one of the committees.
We’d like to thank the following SBAIC members for their sponsorship of this event: