On December 2, 2013, SBAIC welcomed Mauricio Vera, Director of USAID's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), and John Shoraka, Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to its full member meeting. Kimberly Ball, Deputy Director of OSDBU and David Canada, Mentor-Protégé & Subcontracting Program Manager in OSDBU, also presented and answered questions from the audience.

Mauricio Vera provided members with an update on the progress USAID has made in increasing the use of small business implementing partners. Key points included:

  • USAID/Washington achieved 15% utilization of small businesses.
  • The USAID Forward initiative now includes a top level indicator for overseas Missions on small business utilization.
  • All Washington bureaus now establish annual small business utilization targets, and active monitoring of progress against those targets is informing decision making on procurement.
  • USAID is improving the enforcement of small business subcontracting plans.
  • OSDBU is continuing to provide training of USAID staff around the world on the importance of small business contracting.

Download a PDF copy of Mauricio Vera's full presentation.

John Shoraka, who in the past served as a Chair of SBAIC, noted the improvements that USAID is making in small business utilization. He explained the SBA’s role in establishing goals and holding USAID senior leadership accountable. The current focus of the administration is how to institutionalize recent improvements so that they become permanent change.

SBAIC members asked Mr. Shoraka about the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and its language that requires SBA to include overseas spending in small business goals. Mr. Shoraka explained that he is working with procurement officials and others across the executive branch to reach consensus on the interpretation of the Act and its implementation. He also noted that the 2013 NDAA removed the cap amounts that had been in place on the woman owned small business set aside program.

SBAIC appreciates the support of the USAID OSDBU and SBA Leadership and looks forward to collaborating with them as we pursue an expanded role for small business in supporting USAID's valuable work.