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Public Policy and Administration


Jacqueline Thomas


Veteran-owned small businesses that possess ratings as service-disabled companies (i.e., service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses [SDVOSB] are 1 of 5 socioeconomic small business contracting goals that U.S. government agencies seek to comply with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) set-aside goals. Little is known about collaborative strategies for improving training regarding single point of entry into Department of Defense (DOD) subcontracting. The research questions in this study focus on how veteran-owned small businesses pursue acquisition opportunities from training opportunities. Sabatier's advocacy coalition theory was used as the theoretical foundation for this study. This qualitative study was employed using 6 semistructured interviews of small business owners who possessed SDVOSB status and a content analysis of training policies from corporate supplier diversity offices, procurement assistance centers, small business development centers, and DOD Office of Small Business programs from a midwestern city. The emergent themes were (a) availability of training from procurement support assistance agencies is of limited value to mature small businesses; (b) additional support and training are needed for subcontractors desiring to enter the DOD subcontracting market; (c) significant obstacles are present in gaining access to federal subcontracting opportunities, including complex acquisition strategies and selection of contract type; and (d) understanding and enforcement of SDVOSB regulations were perceived as insufficient. SDVOSB entities can use these findings to comprehend what questions to ask about subcontracting training.

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