LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Business Matchmaking, the nation's leading public-private small business procurement initiative, has announced an expanded 2010 event schedule designed to encourage more small businesses to pursue government and corporate contracts.
The non-profit program, started by the Small Business Administration and HP six years ago, has enabled over 75,000 free face-to-face meetings between entrepreneurs and buyers representing all government agencies, as well as Fortune 500 corporations. The results have been several billions of dollars in awarded contracts, with a growing percentage going to women, minority and veteran owned growing companies.
"We are finding new unexpected entrepreneurs entering the procurement arena," said Brian Tippens, HP's director of Supplier Diversity. "They include a large number of female and minority veterans back from the Iraq war unable to find employment and recent graduates in the same boat. Business Matchmaking is providing a uniquely effective and efficient means for reaching out to help them get started and to grow."
Dave Sutton, a procurement director for the US Department of Justice, calls the Business Matchmaking events "outstanding." He added "Their exceptional ability to organize events, get the right people and produce the desired results is well proven." Peggy Williams of the US State Department agrees calling Business Matchmaking "premier events, well organized and well attended and their entire operation is world-class."
In addition to regional face-to-face selling events in Los Angeles (March 16), New York (May 12), Nashville (August 18) and San Antonio (October 13), Business Matchmaking will host training workshops designed to help start-ups become familiar with procurement opportunities and how to team with other companies in sessions in Raleigh, Kansas City and Minneapolis.
Additionally, Business Matchmaking has partnered with the California Small Business Development Centers and the Small Business Advocate in the Governor's Office to host 15 workshops focusing on new opportunities triggered by federal stimulus funding for California's projects.
Based on its success in small business regional events, Business Matchmaking has again been selected to produce the procurement portion of the national conference hosted by the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization for all federal agencies on April 21 in Washington, DC.
American Express OPEN and American Airlines have joined HP in sponsoring Business Matchmaking events by providing funding, technology and volunteers throughout the country. Business Matchmaking, a 501 (c3) foundation, also manages businessmatchmaking.com which enables small businesses to secure online training and leads between events.
A new feature at Business Matchmaking events is Teaming USA, organized by American Express OPEN, linking together small firms to allow them to secure contracts collectively that are beyond their individual reach.
"I went to Business Matchmaking unaware of what I had to do in order to have a chance to sell to government agencies and major corporations," said Don Stoneham, CEO of Agape Enterprises Consulting Inc. of Dublin, California. "At their event, I learned the basic information along with techniques needed to conduct business. It was great training that has provided exceptional results for my company. Every entrepreneur can benefit from the business matchmaking experience."
Hector Barreto, former administrator of the SBA when Business Matchmaking began, calls the program "the most productive and successful public-private initiative undertaken by our agency."
SOURCE Business Matchmaking