Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Matthew Knight


In the United States, 99.9% of small businesses, which account for two-thirds of new jobs annually, do not participate in the federal set-aside program. Half of all small businesses will not survive their first 5 years. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies that U.S. small business leaders operating within the greater Colorado Springs metro area used to participate successfully in the federal contracting set-aside program. Von Bertalanffy's systems theory grounded the study. Data collection included semistructured interviews with an intensity purposeful sampling of 3 small business leaders participating successfully in the federal contracting set-aside program while operating within the greater Colorado Springs metropolitan area. Transcription of audio recordings from the interviews ensured data accuracy. Researcher interpretations were member checked to validate the credibility of the findings. Pattern matching and cross-case synthesis techniques facilitated data analysis and helped to identify emergent themes. The 3 themes from the study were (a) strategic management, (b) stakeholder recognition, and (c) value creation. Of these 3 themes, the most prolific was strategic management, as it began with a detailed strategy to target clients, create initiatives, and set priorities. This study may contribute to social change by promoting increased job creation through participation in the set-aside program. Expanded distribution of economic seeding to a broader representation of local communities may contribute to reducing social dependencies for the unemployed and the underemployed in a recovering economy. Small businesses contribute to local jobs, local revenue, and local taxes, all of which drive local economies.

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