Networking is everything--especially when it comes to landing prime contracting opportunities.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, better known as the SBA, announced Thursday that it is giving such meetings a nudge by hosting three business matchmaking events during National Small Business Week, which takes place June 16-21. The goal, according to the SBA, is to allow small businesses to have face-to-face meetings with prime contractors and federal agencies to learn about contracting and subcontracting opportunities. With this move, the SBA joins a vibrant entrepreneurial matchmaking scene, which features outfits such as CoFoundersLab, EntireLeague, and ActSeed, dubbed "eHarmony for startups and investors."
Face-to-face meetings between small business owners, contractors, and federal agencies will last 15 minutes each, and the day will include speed-mentoring, panels on access to capital, government contracting, exporting, supply chain, and the use of social media in addition to the matchmaking event. Last year, approximately 150 businesses and 20 buyers were matched based on compatibility and the buying needs of federal agencies and corporations.
In order to participate, businesses must acquire a DUNS number, which they can obtain by registering on the DUNS website. They must also be registered in System Award Management, the federal government's official database of small businesses interested in securing federal contracts.
The first matchmaking event will take place at the Arlington Convention Center in Dallas on June 18, the second and third at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 20 and 21.