Securing government contracts from local through federal and from large companies and organizations, can help you substantially scale your business. The opportunity may secure special small business loans and capital to grow, hire more employees, and take your service or product to a broader market. 

The first step is research programs available to you, plan what you will need to be competitive and then decide if you and your business are ready to complete a certification process and then apply for contracts.

Government contracts: Look into doing business with your local government agency for additional information about their procurement process. The Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) offers a program for DC-based businesses to learn how certify, apply for opportunities, and track new opportunities.

Federal contracts: Through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), you can complete a certification process and contract with the federal government. Certification as a woman-, native-, minority-, or veteran-owned small business can increase access to government contracts and specific funding opportunities.

Company and organization contracts: Many large companies and organizations have supplier and procurement programs and host procurement open houses. You may need to be certified as a diverse supplier to qualify for these opportunities.

Here is a list of local universities and companies to get you started:

Georgetown University Supplier Diversity Program

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

University of Washington Supplier Diversity

Solera Supplier Diversity Program

The World Bank Supplier Diversity Program

George Washington University (GW)

Supplier diversity certification programs: Now that you can see the possibilities, the next step is to certify your business. Here is a list of organizations where you can get started:

Equality Chamber of Commerce DC Metro Area

Capital Region Minority Supplier Diversity Council

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) 

Vets First Verification Program