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Small Business Programs


  • Give a clear, easy, and fast path to agencies to start digital services projects
  • Entice non-traditional vendors into the Government space through the 8(a) program
  • Increase the number of contracts awarded to quality digital service providers
  • Reduce administration for the SBA and agencies by providing an easy on-ramp to and release from the 8(a) program for projects within scope

Small Business Participation

Key Question: Will small businesses be disadvantaged because they may not know agile methodologies or Agile software development and will not be able to submit a proposal for those types of solicitations?

The opportunity to award to small businesses exists and many small businesses have the expertise and capacity to perform Agile software development.

The FAR generally requires agencies to provide maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions to small businesses. Agencies have small business goals and they should give strong consideration to those goals when determining acquisition strategy. Agile software development is consistent with this long-standing policy. Many small businesses in this field have the expertise and capacity to perform Agile software development services, and they are as capable as large businesses to perform this type of work. Methods of increasing small business utilization are encouraged, such as mentor-protégé relationships or having subcontracting arrangements to be required and submitted with the respective proposals.

Use of 8(a) Concerns

Agencies are frequently frustrated by long procurement lead times, competition requirements, and lack of adequate coaching around new implementation methods, which slows down the successful adoption of modern technology.

The use of SBA’s 8(a) program can solve many of these problems. The 8(a) program can get requirements on contract quickly with a sole source procurement of up to $4.5 million dollars in value. It also provides agencies with a perfect, low-risk gateway to accelerated acquisitions and product delivery. There vendors in the SBA 8(a) program with significant experience implementing modern technology and digital services. However, agencies hesitate to use the 8(a) program due to concerns about the repetitive acquisition requirements--also known as "Once an 8(a) Always an 8(a)." This results in missed opportunities to use a fantastic government program and get digital solutions into citizens’ hands faster.

Read more about the processes

Next: Terms and Conditions


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