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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2014

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Nonprofit, Mobile Fundraising & Social Media Experts Release 2015 Predictions To Drive Mobile Donations

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nonprofit leaders, mobile fundraising and social media experts weighed in on the future of mobile donations in 2015. Here are some of their predictions, experiences and successes from 2014. A detailed recap of predictions are also available by emailing info@jenningssocialmedia.com.

Two nonprofit leaders recapped their experiences, launching their first ever Giving Tuesday program. RAZ Mobile and Jennings Social Media Marketing worked with Natalie’s A.R.T. Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City to set up mobile giving platforms and social media marketing in advance of Giving Tuesday.

Steve Fleischaker, executive director for Natalie’s A.R.T. Foundation, said, “I can’t emphasize enough the value of knowledge we’ve gained from conducting our first mobile fundraising campaign. We are a young organization, and mobile fundraising is new to us. We learned so much about the ways we can reach donors and how we can incent them to give. The returns on a mobile fundraising page will help the foundation to grow in years to come.”

Lisa Schifman, interim marketing manager for the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, said, “We were able to create a compelling Giving Tuesday campaign that reached a large percentage of our donor base. We learned a tremendous amount about mobile fundraising and will be able to draw from it for campaigns in the future.”

Although these two charities learned a great deal and it advanced their mobile and social media tactics to reach new donors which generated donations, most nonprofits are not prepared for mobile giving today. Dale Knoop, CEO and founder of RAZ Mobile, said, “In a recent white paper from the online agency Charity Dynamics, they asked nonprofit industry leaders what the next 10 years held in store for technology and nonprofits. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed said they expect online giving to rise by 400% or more over the next ten years. And the same group said they think the smartphone will play a big role in this surge in online giving. Here at RAZ Mobile we totally agree and are seeing the amazing results our customers are achieving on our platform. In the near-term, here’s my big prediction for 2015 and online giving to nonprofits: the ongoing loss of donations (billions of $ according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy) due to high-friction online giving and too many nonprofits still using using PC sites for mobile giving will reverse their trends thereby helping many nonprofits survive and thrive in our mobile-first world for many years to come.”

Valerie Jennings, CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing & Viral Bolt Media, said, “While most charities are slow to adopt new mobile giving technology and incorporate it into their social media content, we are seeing more and more corporations adding cause marketing efforts to support nonprofits. Even though the charities are not able to advance their marketing and online donations, cause marketing programs funded by corporations are starting to adopt it and are picking up the tab for the charities. We think this will continue to be a constant trend in 2015.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy notes 84 percent of charities have not optimized their sites and donation platforms to be mobile-friendly. As such, donations for charities have dropped in the past few years because it’s difficult for people to use mobile devices to make donations.

About RAZ Mobile:

RAZ Mobile allows nonprofits engaged in fundraising to quickly create a branded, content-rich mobile optimized site for more effective supporter communications and increased fundraising opportunities. Every donation goes immediately to the nonprofit’s existing merchant account and repeat donations can be made in seconds with a few taps on the donor’s smartphone or tablet.

Optical Retailer Matches Donations to Vitamin Angels this Holiday Season

VANCOUVER, B.C., December 27, 2014 – Leading online optical retailer Coastal.com today announced its plans to match all donations given to Vitamin Angels on Dec 30 and 31. California-based Vitamin Angels ensures children under five, pregnant women and new mothers have access to vitamins and minerals.

“At Coastal.com, we strive to make eye care accessible to everyone around the world and our longstanding partnership with Vitamin Angels enables us to do just that,” said Lawrence Scotland, Marketing Director of Coastal.com. “We share a commitment with Vitamin Angels to provide children with the vitamins they need to lead a healthy life. We’re focused on supporting the vitamin program with the hope young children will be able to avoid the early onset of eye disease.”

Since inception, Coastal.com’s charitable arm, the Change the View project, has partnered with organizations such as Vitamin Angels to help over 340,000 people in need. In the coming years, the team at Coastal.com is focused on achieving their goal of providing eyeglasses, sunglasses, and vitamin A capsules to 2 million people by 2020.

“Our give-back model offers both corrective and protective vision care. Meaning, for each pair purchased, we offer either prescription glasses, vitamin A capsules, or sunglasses,” said Scotland.

With the help of Vitamin Angels, Coastal.com hopes to provide aid to 120,000 undernourished children through its donation-match program this season. To learn more or make a donation to Vitamin Angels, please visit www.vitaminangels.org. For additional information on Change the View please visit ChangetheView.org.

Hearing Loss and HIV

A new study finds that HIV-positive adults are more likely to experience hearing loss, regardless of disease severity or treatment.

Adults who are HIV-positive can experience both high- and low-range hearing loss. Credit: Peter Torre

Adults who are HIV-positive can experience both high- and low-range hearing loss. Credit: Peter Torre

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Monday, Dec. 29, 2014) — Compared to adults without HIV, HIV-positive adults are at higher risk for hearing loss independent of their severity of infection or adherence to medications, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery. It is the first comprehensive study to examine hearing loss after accounting for the effect of HIV medication use, adherence and HIV related-disease factors.

Researchers have known since the early 1980s that there appears to be an association between HIV and hearing loss, but it has proven difficult to explain exactly how and why it occurs.

Peter Torre, a hearing scientist who specializes in epidemiology at San Diego State University, conducted the study with colleagues from Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

The researchers recruited middle-aged HIV-infected participants from two long-standing HIV cohort studies: men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which began in 1984, and women from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study, which began in 1994. The recent study was overseen by Michael Plankey, an infectious disease epidemiologist and investigator for both cohort studies.

Torre, the study’s lead author, designed an experimental procedure to screen these participants for various symptoms of hearing loss. After being screened out for various prior symptoms of hearing loss, each participant had a standard clinical hearing test at a university-based audiology clinic to determine whether they could hear a variety of tones ranging from 250 to 8000 hertz at different volume thresholds. The researchers also collected data on how long the HIV-positive participants’ had been taking HIV medication and how adherent they were to the treatment regimens. They also measured participants’ white blood cell count and the amount of HIV virus in the blood to determine disease progression.

Existing literature predicted that researchers would find results similar to premature aging in the HIV-positive participants. That is, they expected those participants’ low-frequency hearing to be relatively intact with a drop-off toward higher frequencies.

“What we found was a little different from what we expected,” Torre said.

They found that the HIV-positive men and women had trouble hearing both the low tones and the high tones. On average, their threshold for hearing the tones was about 10 decibels higher than HIV-negative men and women.

The participants’ white blood cell count, amount of HIV virus in the blood, duration of time taking HIV medications and adherence did not explain the hearing loss found among the HIV-positive men and women.

The researchers aren’t able to explain the physiological mechanism behind hearing loss in HIV-positive people, but the fact that it occurs regardless of the use of HIV medication or other disease variables suggests that it could be a response to inflammation or some other process caused by the HIV virus itself, Torre explained. Study co-author Howard Hoffman, director of epidemiology/statistics at NIDCD, noted that the pattern of hearing loss across both low and high frequencies for these middle-aged HIV positive subjects is reminiscent of that found for adults with diabetes.

This group of investigators will be conducting additional studies to uncover the reasons for this hearing loss.

“Our hope is that by understanding exactly how HIV relates to hearing loss, we can find or develop some medication that is therapeutic or protective against loss of hearing,” Torre said.

This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), via interagency agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, for Cooperative Agreements U01 AI-035042-18 and U01 AI-034994-17.

From Beyond the Ozone, Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti Sings #Imagine For UNICEF

#everyvoicecounts, #IMAGINE

Download the video of Samantha singing Imagine and her message to the world about children:

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti_Singing #IMAGINE

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION/ROME 22 December 2014 – From the vast distance of space, Italian astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, today joined the UNICEF #IMAGINE campaign, adding her voice to an expanding global chorus of John Lennon’s anthem to peace and hope, Imagine.

Cristoforetti urged earthlings to support #IMAGINE by downloading the Touchcast app on imagine.unicef.org; singing #IMAGINE with John Lennon and uploading their video for UNICEF to help children around the world.

“With #IMAGINE, every voice counts, every child counts – join UNICEF in making a better world for children,” she said from the International Space Station, powering 250 miles above Earth at over 17,000mph. “I imagine a better world in which all children can get an education and aspire to build for themselves the future they imagine.”

Launched on 20 November at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with Yoko Ono and a star-studded cast of supporters, including Hugh Jackman and Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA, #IMAGINE uses a specially created interactive digital experience to allow people all over the world to record their own version of Imagine, and also record personal messages describing what they imagine a better world for children would be like.

The World Version – has been produced in collaboration with renowned DJ and music producer David Guetta and will be released at New Year’s Eve celebrations across the globe, including Cape Town, London and Rio and as well as on social media platforms including YouTube and Facebook. It will feature famous voices including Katy Perry, Angelique Kidjo, Neymar, Daniela Mercury, Thalia, Priyanka Chopra, Yuna Kim, Adam Lambert, Will.i.am, Nicole Scherzinger, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-MOON alongside voices from ordinary people who uploaded their own versions, including a chorus of hearing impaired students in Namibia signing the song and many other contributions from all over the world.

Samantha Cristoforetti arrived at the International Space Station on 24 November for a six month mission. Her participation in this project has been made possible thanks to European Space Agency, Italian Space Agency and the Italian Air Force.

UNICEF – UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 20 Member States, Italy included.

Samantha Cristoforetti’s biography

Born in Milan, Italy, on 26 April 1977, Samantha Cristoforetti completed her secondary education in Trento, Italy, in 1996 after having spent a year as an exchange student in the United States. She joined the ESA in September 2009 and completed basic astronaut training in November 2010. In July 2012 she was assigned to an Italian Space Agency ASI mission aboard the International Space Station. She was launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 23 November 2014 on the second longest ASI mission and the eighth longest mission for an ESA astronaut. She enjoys interacting with space enthusiasts on Twitter as @AstroSamantha.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Applauds the FDA for Easing Restrictions on Gay Blood Donors

New York, NY — In response to the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to ease restrictions on its 31-year ban on gay blood donors, Scott Campbell, executive director for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, issued the following statement:

“The Elton John AIDS Foundation is pleased that the FDA has taken a first step to lift the antiquated ban prohibiting gay men from donating blood. This announcement represents a long overdue shift in the public health field’s perception of gay men. While we urge the FDA to fully discard its ban, this step underscores what we have always believed: that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, should be allowed to help people in need. It’s part of ending stigma against LGBT Americans, and is simply the right thing to do.”

About the Elton John AIDS Foundation

At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS.

For more information, and for a complete list and descriptions of EJAF’s 2014 round three grantees, please visit www.ejaf.org.

For more information please visit www.ejaf.org

Follow EJAF on Facebook and Twitter.

American Airlines is the official sponsoring airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

UCF I-Corps Announces Inaugural Class

Nine Entrepreneurial Teams Selected Representing Cross Section of University Programs

(ORLANDO, Fla) – The University of Central Florida (UCF) I-Corps committee announced the entrepreneurial teams selected to participate in the program’s inaugural class. Teams will embark on their 10-week journey beginning January 30, 2015.

The inaugural I-Corps class represents a cross section of students from various UCF programs, including College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), NanoScience Technology Center (NSTC), College of Medicine (COM) and School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD).

UCF I-Corps teams generally consist of an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), Principal Investigator (PI) and Industry/I-Corps Mentor. Inaugural teams include: Talon Simulations (CECS); Autonomous Vehicle (IST); Smartphone Spectrometer (NSTC); e-Book Platform (CECS); Xapagy (CECS); MotivATE (COM); HybridaSol (FSEC); Healthshares (COM); and iBeacon Platform (SVAD).

Ivan Garibay

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D., Program Director for UCF I-Corps

These aspiring entrepreneurs will participate in an immersive, hands-on program designed to teach them how to test their ideas, gauge feasibility, understand consumer demand, examine competition and develop mutually beneficial partnerships to help transition their ideas into profitable enterprises. Experienced advisors and mentors oversee the teams and coach them toward success.

The inaugural teaching team consists of a mix of experienced entrepreneurs and UCF faculty including Thomas O’Neal, Oscar Rodriguez, Michael O’Donnell, Cameron Ford, Ivan Garibay and David Metcalf. The entire teaching team was trained at the Lean LaunchPad Educators Seminar at Stanford. This training was facilitated by Jerry Engel and Steve Blanks, creators of the Lean Launchpad movement. Engel, a professor at Berkeley (University of California) and National Faculty Director of the NSF I-Corps program, will be co-teaching the first and last inaugural classes with the UCF teaching team.

Dr. Nicoleta Hickman UCF’s FSEC, will serve as the PI for HybridaSol. “Our entire team is excited to accept this honor and challenge,” says Dr. Hickman. “To be part of this first group is very special, and we are determined not to disappoint. We realize this is a major investment in HybridaSol by the National Science Foundation and the I-Corps committee.”

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D., serves as Program Director for UCF I-Corps. “Being named one of only 15 universities nationwide to lead an I-Corps site is an incredible opportunity and privilege for UCF,” explains Garibay. “The I-Corps committee put much time and effort into choosing teams representing diverse ideas and innovations. We look forward to seeing the transformation and progress of our inaugural class.”

For more information about UCF I-Corps, please visit icorps.cie.ucf.edu

Support Israel and the Local Jewish Community through Giving To Alight 100: One Hundred Days of Giving Back

Berkeley, CA, December 23, 2014 – The Jewish Federation of the East Bay provides a pathway for charitable giving to Israel and the local Jewish Community through the Jewish Community Foundation’s Donor-Advised Fund program. Join fund holders Karen & James Holtz by supporting this important effort by giving to ALIGHT 100: One hundred days of giving back, an intensive awareness and fundraising campaign, running through March 15, 2015.

Karen & James Holtz share their story:

Israel and the local Jewish community are very important to us. We established a Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay a couple of years ago, and now we manage all of our charitable giving to Jewish organizations through the Foundation.

We held a charitable fund at a commercial institution, but we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to Jewish causes for our community and our children. So we moved our fund to The Jewish Community Foundation. Now we feel like we are more a part of the community. We want others to join us and demonstrate their commitment to the Jewish community by starting their own Donor Advised Fund.

We are proud to be a part of the Foundation’s Donor Advised program. We are gratified to see the high level of impact that we can collectively give back to the Jewish community, and we are very pleased with the responsiveness of the Foundation to our requests as well as the service it provides to us and to the community.

By giving back to the community donors to the Federation, can maximize their long-term impact and address the broad scope of the Jewish community’s needs.

During the 16 week campaign, topics of discussion will focus on many of the programs the Federation and Foundation. Funds raised during ALIGHT 100: One hundred days of giving back will support the Federation and Foundation’s continued work to build a vibrant Jewish community, support the vulnerable, and secure the Jewish future. To make a donation, visit http://www.jfed.org/alight100 or call 510.839.2900.

The Jewish Federation of the East Bay and The Jewish Community Foundation are dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant and inclusive local Jewish community and supporting Jewish life in the East Bay, Israel, and throughout the world. The Federation and Foundation work together with East Bay Jewish donors to create a rich and supportive community guided by the Jewish values of tzedakah (righteous giving), chesed (loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). For more information call 510.809.4953 or visit www.jfed.org.

Sunlight Foundation Welcomes New Members To Its Board Of Directors

WASHINGTON — Today, the Sunlight Foundation announced that Sue Gardner, Allison Fine, Mark Horvit and Daniel X. O’Neil would join its board of directors.

“As we begin a new chapter here at the Sunlight Foundation, we are thrilled to add these four remarkable individuals to our board,” said Sunlight Foundation President Chris Gates. “Their valuable experience and expertise across the fields of journalism, civic tech and social engagement will help guide Sunlight on its mission to advocate for open government in the U.S. and across the globe and to create and use technology to hold government accountable.”

Sue Gardner is a special advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia. From 2007 to 2014 she was its executive director. Previously, she was head of CBC.CA, the website for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and before that she was a journalist working in multiple media including the internet, newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. In 2011, Forbes magazine named Sue one of the world’s 100 most powerful women. She serves on boards and advisory committees for a half-dozen global non-profit, educational and grantmaking organizations, primarily related to technology, media, gender and digital freedoms.

Allison Fine is among the pre-eminent guides to the social media revolution. She is author of Matterness: What Fearless Leaders Know About the Power and Promise of Social Media. In addition, she is the author of the award-winning Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, and co-author of the bestselling The Networked Nonprofit.

Mark Horvit, an accomplished reporter and editor, is the executive director for Investigative Reporters and Editors, a professional organization headquartered at the Missouri School of Journalism. He previously worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Panama City (Fla.) News Herald, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and the Houston Post, among others.

Daniel X. O’Neil is an open data and open government advocate and the executive director of Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to improving lives in Chicago through technology. He’s also the cofounder of EveryBlock.

“We’re pleased to welcome these new members to Sunlight’s board of directors,” said Sunlight Co-Founder and Board Chair Mike Klein. “We have great faith that their contributions will strengthen Sunlight’s reach and connect its work to broader audiences.”

The four join current board members Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure Holdings, Nicholas Klein, venture capital advisor, Andrew McLaughlin, partner at betaworks, a technology and media start-up studio based in New York City and CEO of Digg and Instapaper, and Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.

Race Across America Announces 2015 Event Calendar

A Race Option for Everyone, RAAM Races Take Endurance Cycling to the Next Level

BOULDER, CO (December 23, 2014) — For 33 years the Race Across America (RAAM) has brought thousands together from around the world to compete in the legendary “Worlds Toughest Bicycle Race”. After an incredible 2014 with names like Dave Mirra, multi-time X Games winner, Dave Zabriskie, Tour de France competitor competing as a part of the 4-man winning team, and Pippa Middleton, English socialite, in the 8-person team category, competition ran deep.

Endurance cycling is comprised of a large international contingency that gathers together for the incomparable race on American soil. Media coverage through ridefarther.com and live athlete tracking provided by Tractalis makes it easy to follow the Race from anywhere in the world. Due to the caliber of talent and new racers in 2014 (plus a record –setting performance from Christoph Strasser), 2015 is expecting to see an increase in the international field.

RAAM placed an indelible stamp on toughness with the solo division, which remains the soul of the Race and continues to grow. For 2015, RAAM is expecting the 2-, 4-, and 8-person teams to continue their expansion with the involvement of corporate teams. The team aspect of RAAM has evolved into an incredible platform to compete while raising awareness and support for the philanthropy of their choice. RAAM builds camaraderie among co-workers, takes competition to a new level, and ultimately is an experience no one will forget. Team racing has the attainability for any group of cyclists to race in RAAM without the same cost and time commitment as a RAAM soloist.

Without making the 3000-mile commitment of RAAM, cyclists can enter into endurance cycling through the Race Across the West (RAW), the first 860 miles of RAAM. Here racers can gain experience while competing on the toughest and possibly the most scenic portion of the RAAM course. RAW is a great way for athletes looking to transition into endurance cycling and a stepping-stone to the ultimate race, RAAM. Achievable as a solo or team (2- or 4-person) racer, RAW is accessible, less expensive, less time consuming, and with the finish in beautiful Durango, it is a race to remember. Registration is open now.

Returning for its 4th year, the RAAM Challenge Series is a five state series offering two challenging distances. With the options of 200 or 400 miles, solo and 2- or 4-person teams, this series is next benchmark for any fit cyclist or triathlete. The 400-mile routes are a RAAM qualifier for those daring to race solo, and the 200-mile routes are within reach of cyclists already completing Gran Fondos (100+ miles). The series also provides athletes with the perfect training ground for endurance cycling and a great way for crews to hone their skills. Registration opens January 1.

Lastly, 2014 was an epic year for the 6/12/24 Hour World Time Trial Championships. With its new home in Borrego Springs, California, a new live-timing system and a new flat, fast and spectator-friendly course, it’s a unique event where racers can test themselves against the clock without support crews or follow vehicles. The new course features an 18-mile long loop finishing with a 4.8-mile short loop. There is no better way to enjoy the captivating desert landscape. Racers come from around the world to experience this great event. Whether you are a criterium specialist, a triathlete or an experienced endurance racer, make sure to add this event to your 2015 race calendar.

Complete 2015 Race Calendar: (Registration is open)

RAAM Solo Start (Oceanside, CA) – June 16
RAAM Team Start (Oceanside, CA) – June 20
RAW Solo and Team Start (Oceanside, CA) – June 16

RAAM Cycling Challenge Series: (Registration opens Jan. 1, 2015)

Texas (Marble Falls) – March 28
Southern California (Oceanside) – May 2
Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul) – July 18
Colorado (Steamboat Springs) – August 15
Ohio (Columbus) – October 3

6/12/24 Hour World Time Trial Championships: (Borrego Springs, CA) – November 13-14

More About RAAM

RAAM and SOUL EVENTS are world leaders in the sport of endurance bicycle racing. The team is responsible for the Race Across America (RAAM), the world’s premier ultra-endurance bicycle race, a 3000-mile coast-to-coast race across the USA, as well as the Race Across the West (RAW), an 860-mile race across the Western US, the RAAM Cycling Challenge Series, and the 6-12-24 Hour Endurance Time Trail World Championships. In addition, they offer seminars on endurance bicycle racing and sanction endurance races worldwide. www.raceacrossamerica.org

President Obama Signs Into Law New Authority to Increase Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses

WASHINGTON – Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, applauded the signing into law of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2015 today. President Obama’s signature on the NDAA is a critical move that will now allow women-owned small businesses to earn their fair share of the federal marketplace and gain economic opportunities. Section 825 of the NDAA authorizes federal agencies to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses eligible for the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program, giving women the same level of access to the federal contracting marketplace as other disadvantaged groups.

“Women entrepreneurs are growing at an unprecedented rate. More than one in four U.S. companies is owned or led by a woman, and these firms employ more than 7.8 million Americans. Passage of the women’s small business provision in NDAA is a win for women entrepreneurs and a win for America. This will help women-owned small businesses gain equal access to federal contracting as they add jobs to the U.S. economy. A big thank you to the leaders of the Senate and House Small Business and Armed Services Committees for helping make this a reality,” said Contreras-Sweet.

In July, Administrator Contreras-Sweet testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship that federal agencies needed this tool to level the playing field for women-owned businesses. Many of the committee members shared the sentiment, and the SBA worked with Congress and key small business stakeholders to include this provision.

Currently, women entrepreneurs are receiving less than five percent of federal contracts. While Congress established the WOSB Federal Contract program in legislation passed in 2000, it was not implemented. From President Obama’s first day in office, providing economic opportunity to women has been a top priority and the steps to enact the program were put in motion, which was implemented in April 2011.

This new provision will give the SBA a new tool to continue to open doors for more women entrepreneurs in the federal and commercial contract space. SBA’s efforts include aggressively promoting the Women-Owned Small Business Contract Program, which aims to expand federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses.

To learn more about how SBA supports women entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/wosb.

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