WIPP's myContracting Magazine January 2015 - Page 24

By Janet Baylor,

USDA, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

What is the role of the WOSB Advocate at USDA?

The role of the USDA WOSB advocate is to provide counsel and assistance to women-owned small businesses seeking contracting opportunities with the U.S. Department of agriculture.

How can the WOSB advocate assist a women business owner?

The WOSB advocate assists women business owners with information to get them started in doing business with USDA. Dependent upon their product or service, the WOSB advocate will direct them to the appropriate USDA Small Business Specialist in the Department. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 11 buying agencies with a Small Business Specialist assigned to each buying agency. WOB’s should first research USDA and its structure by reviewing our Procurement Forecast of Opportunities which is searchable by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. This will help in determining which agencies they should market and which agencies would most likely purchase their product or service. They might also want to review our Subcontracting Directory online for information on subcontracting opportunities available with our Prime Contractors. Also, the WOSB advocate, who is also the Vendor Outreach Program Manager, will suggest they attend the monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions. These sessions provide WOB’s an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the USDA Small Business Specialists to discuss their capabilities and learn about potential contracting opportunities.

Also, the WOB’s can attend our Small Business Connections sessions. These sessions are also held monthly and are a networking forum for WOBs as well as other small businesses and prime contractors. There is a different topic of discussion each month. The Small Business Connections are hosted by Carmen Jones, USDA OSDBU Director. You can find information on the Vendor Outreach Sessions and Small Business Connections as well as our Procurement Forecast and Subcontracting Directory on our website. Also, you can find information on other OSDBU events on our website which will give the WOBs an opportunity to meet and connect with other OSDBU staff. The following is the website: www.usda.gov/osdbu.

How do WOSBs interact with the WOSB advocate?

WOSBs interact with the WOSB advocate on a daily basis regarding information on their capabilities and marketing efforts to the Department ensuring they are afforded the opportunity to participate in the contracting process. The WOSB Advocate will discuss any procedures they will need to follow in targeting the appropriate USDA agency offices.

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Janet Baylor, presently works in the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) serving as the Woman-

owned Small Business (WOB)

representative for USDA.

In this capacity, she advises and counsels WOB’s on potential contracting opportunities within the agency and how to market their product or service to the federal government. Also, she conducts the monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions. These sessions provide small businesses the opportunity to meet with agency OSDBU Specialists to discuss their capabilities and learn of potential procurement opportunities.

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