Minority and Women Entrepreneurs Contracting with thw Federal Government


  • Todd D. Mick Missouri Western State College
  • Patricia G. Greene Babson College


 This article uses learning network theory as a foundation upon which the assistance and barriers minority and women entrepreneurs face when attempting to contract with the federal government may be studied. The public policy programs analyzed for this study were the SBA's 8(a) program and the Department of Defense's Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAC). The methodology utilized was an in-depth analysis of government contracting experiences in two states, Missouri and Kansas, in the greater Kansas City area via formalized interviews and government data. Research results revealed strong responses to the 8(a) program and its overall effectiveness. Racial issues were of a particular concern, as well as the perceived lack of strength behind 8(a) contracting incentives. The PTAC program was revealed to be reaching a significantly increasing percentage of woman owned businesses, and to a lesser extent, minority-owned businesses while providing a more effective learning strategy for gaining government contracts.



Download data is not yet available.


Argyris, C. and D. Schon (1978). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Auster, E. R. (1988). Owner and organizational characteristics of black and white owned businesses. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 47(3): 331 -44.

Bates, T. and Williams, D. (1996). Do preferential procurement programs benefit minority business? American Economic Review 86(2): 294-7.

Baumol, W. (1990). Entrepreneurship: productive, unproductive, and destructive. Journal of Political Economy 98(5): 893-921.

Boyd, T. (1991). A contextual analysis of black self-employment in large metropolitan areas. Social Forces 70: 409-29.

Brown, H. (1994). Performance barriers to 8(a) businesses: Learning and policy implications, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Dana, L. (1987). Entrepreneurship and venture creation - an international comparison of five commonwealth nations. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship. N. Churchill, J. Hornaday, B. Kirschoff, O. Krasner and K. Vesper. Wellesley, MA, Babson College: 573-83.

Dubini, P. (1989). The influence of motivations and environment on business start-ups: some recent hints for public policies. Journal of Business Venturing 4: 11-26.

Fischer, E., A. Reuber, et al. (1993). A theoretical overview and extension of research on sex, gender and en trepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing 8: 15-68.

Friedman, J. (1995). The effects of industrial structure and resources upon the distribution of fast-growing small firms among U.S. urbanized areas. Urban Studies, 6(32): 863-84.

Glenn, E. (1992). Racial ethnic women's labor. Gender, Family, and Economy. R. L. Blumberg. Newbury Park, NJ, Sage Publications: 173-201.

Goodman, J., J. Meany, et al. (1992). The government as entrepreneur: industrial development and the creation of new ventures. The State of the Art of Entrepreneurship. D. Sexton and J. Kasada. Boston, MA, PWS-Kent: 68-85.

Greene, P. (1996). A call for conceptual clarity. National Journal oj Sociology 10(2): 49-55.

Hisrich, R. D. and C. Brush (1986). Characteristics of the minority entrepreneur. Journal of Small Business Management 24: 1-8.

Hoy, F. (1997). Relevance in entrepreneurship research. Entrepreneurship 2000. D. Sexton and R. Smilor. Chicago, Upstart.

Hudson, M., Missouri State Program Manager, (2000). Interview by author, 23 February 2000.

Kuwada, K. (1998). Strategic learning: The continuous side of discontinuous strategic change. Organization Science 9(6): 719-36.

Lick, D. 1993. General accounting office criticized 8(a) program management. Set-Aside Alert 1(14): 8-9.

Nelton, S. (1998). Women owners and Uncle Sam. Nations Business 86(4): 53-4.

Nelton, S. (1998). Women's firms thrive. Nations Business 86(8): 38-40.

Parnell, J. (1998). Race and gender revisited: assessing the perceptions of tomorrow's managers. International Journal of Commerce and Management 8(2): 50-74.

Pennings, J. (1982). Organizational birth frequencies: an empirical investigation. Administrative Science Quarterly 27: 120-44.

Poell, R., G. Chivers, F. Van der Krogt, and D. Wildemeersch (2000). Learning network theory. Management Learning 31(1): 24-49.

Popper, M and R. Lipshitz (2000). Organizational learning: Mechanisms, culture, and feasibility. Management Learning 31 (2): 181 -96.

Reynolds, P. (1992). Predicting new-firm births: Interactions of organization and human populations. In State of the Art of Entrepreneurship, ed. D. Sexton and J. Kasada: 26897. Boston, MA: PWS-Kent.

Sapienza, H. (1992). When do venture capitalists add value? Journal of Business Venturing 7: 9-27.

Stough, R., K. Haynes, and H. Campbell (1998). Small business entrepreneurship in the high technology services sector: An assessment for the edge cities of the U.S. national capital region. Small Business Economics 10: 61-74.

Taub, R. and Gaglio, C. (1995). Entrepreneurship and public policy: Beyond solving the credit crunch. In 15th Annual Entrepreneurship Research Conference, ed. W. Bygrave, B. Bird, S. Birley, N. Churchill, M. Hay, R. Keeley and W. Wetzel, 437-44. Babson Park, MA: Babson College.

U.S. General Accounting Office (2001) Federal procurement: Trends and challenges in contracting with women-owned small businesses. Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office.

Van der Krogt, F. (1998). Learning network theory: The tension between learning systems and work systems in organizations. Human Resource Development Quarterly 9(2): 15777.




How to Cite

Mick, T. D., & Greene, P. G. (2004). Minority and Women Entrepreneurs Contracting with thw Federal Government. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 15(1), 33–48. Retrieved from https://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/jsbs/article/view/10




Most read articles by the same author(s)