A microloan program designed to assist women, low income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs, and other small businesses will be evaluated for its impact in growth outcomesRead more »
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program makes direct loans to qualified nonprofit, quasi-governmental and tribal mediators that, in turn, lend working capital for job creation, equipment, and material purchases. This program is essential for small businesses who do not qualify for traditional business loans and who have historically been underrepresented in the business community across a number of industries. […]
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), evaluated four Small Business Administration (SBA) programs using logic models to determine outcomesRead more »
A logic model provides a visual likeness of the key program pathways linking program components to short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. The purpose of a logic model is to define a program’s theory of change by showing how the program’s underlying assumptions, strategies, resources, activities, and contextual factors are expected to lead to the desired outcomes. Optimal prepared logic models […]
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Government agencies often use incomplete and non-systematic approaches to identify qualified contractors and capable, socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses for government requests. While information about firms is available, it is stored across disparate systems that are not linked together. In order for staff to more efficiently identify small disadvantaged businesses, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), developed a series of […]
Optimal Solutions Group LLC (Optimal) assessed the impact of a program designed to help small businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged businesses succeed in the marketplaceRead more »
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program grants participants access to set-aside or sole source contracts, a business opportunity specialist, the right to enter a mentor-protégé program, and other benefits. The goal of the Evaluation of 8(a) Certified Firms is to better understand the market for goods and services demanded by federal agencies and those supplied by 8(a) businesses. The […]
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) evaluated a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) initiative that investigates the outcomes of executive enterprises and business training on the performance of small firmsRead more »
This study helped SBA in improving the program enactment of Emerging Leaders (e200) Training and Mentoring Initiative by identifying strategies to improve program participation and stakeholder engagement. It also identified the factors affecting the business revenue and business survival rates of the businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. Optimal assisted in developing the overall evaluation frameworks for SBA’s […]
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), assessed a Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative that provides funding to regional clusters of small businesses for its performanceRead more »
The SBA’s Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) Initiative, launched in September 2010, promotes and supports U.S. regional clusters—geographically concentrated groups of connected businesses, suppliers, service providers, and similar institutions in an industry or field. Clusters act as a networking hub to convene resources for small businesses. This then helps small businesses in navigating funding, procurement, and supply-chain opportunities in their specific […]
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), analyzed a program designed to help small businesses compete for government contracts to determine why firms leave the program prematurelyRead more »
Established in 2016, the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) extends the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) approved mentor-protégé relationships to every small business. The program’s goal is to develop strong protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance. Optimal assessed why firms leave the ASMPP either during the application process before they are approved for the program or during the program participation […]
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Optimal Solutions Group, LLC today announced that it has been appraised at level 3 for Development (DEV) of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)®. The appraisal was performed by Abridge Technology. CMMI is a capability improvement framework that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance.
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Optimal is pleased to announce the launch of the public version of USAID 2011-2015 Education Strategy Progress Report website at www.usaideducationdata.org. The website serves as a public access point for data and documentation used by the USAID Office of Education to measure progress towards the targets of the 2011-2015 USAID Education Strategy. The public version of the website details results […]
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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) awarded Optimal a contract to assess the implementation and effectiveness of mobile application technology to provide recovery support services to patients undergoing treatment for opioid dependence in an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).
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This year marks the fourth year of the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Regional Cluster Initiative pilot program.
September 22, 2021
Optimal was awarded the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) – Small Business (SB) Pool 1. OASIS is a General Services Administration (GSA) government-wide best-in-class procurement vehicle that provides flexible and innovative solutions for complex professional services. It encompasses a broad set of offerings covering everything from program management services, management consulting services and financial services to logistics services, engineering […]
August 25, 2021
The federal government established the 8(a) program to improve the capacity of small businesses owned by the socially and economically disadvantaged members of society by creating a level playing field for providing goods and services to the federal government and increasing the supply base of qualified businesses owned by such members of society. The Small Business Administration partnered with Optimal […]
August 25, 2021
Women face a wider variety and a greater severity of challenges in starting and growing their business ventures than men. Difficulties obtaining government contracts represents one of the largest hurdles faced by women-owned firms. Congress approved the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program to provide greater opportunities for small businesses to win federal contracts. The Small Business Administration partnered […]
August 18, 2021
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) offers tools, solutions, and resources to address manufacturer’s diverse challenges and opportunities. Optimal Solutions Group LLC (Optimal) will provide access to a manufacturing data analysis and modeling tool or service . This tool/service will put dynamic and relevant manufacturing data in the hands of the MEP Centers, which helps […]
August 18, 2021
Each year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) produces its Small Business Procurement Scorecard, which aims to assess the performance of federal agencies towards achieving their small business contracting goals, provide valid and reliable data on federal contracting with an emphasis on transparency, as well as analyze and report agency level and government-wide progress towards the goals. For fiscal year 2017, […]
August 17, 2021
The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program, part of the Small Business Administration (SBA), helps small businesses in low-income metropolitan or rural areas with high poverty and unemployment rates gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. Businesses obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone and maintaining a “principal office” in one of these specially […]
August 15, 2021
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Boots to Business (B2B) program is offered free of charge and helps transition service members from military to civilian life through entrepreneurship education and training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person course rapidly transitioned to an instructor-led virtual course. A new study by Optimal Solutions Group LLC (Optimal) examines the implementation of the virtual delivery […]
August 15, 2021
The Small Business Administration (SBA) monitors whether government agencies are providing opportunities for small business participation in federal contracting by performing Surveillance Reviews, which assess whether selected Procurement Centers (PCs) at federal agencies execute their small business programs effectively and according to federal regulations. The SBA completes about 30 Surveillance Reviews annually at major PCs across the country. These are […]
July 1, 2018
Dr. Mark Turner, founder and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, LLC, has been appointed to the University of Maryland Economics Leadership Council (ELC).
June 29, 2018
On June 29, Optimal was awarded the U.S. General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 070 contract, 47QTCA18D00FC. The contract expires in 2023, with the potential of three (5) year options to follow.
January 30, 2018
The State of Ohio moved forward with an $8 million dollar technology challenge to help in addressing our nation’s opioid abuse epidemic. Ohio currently spends $1 billion annually in this battle. To help advance innovation in this area, the State launched a three-phase challenge to find solutions in “opioid abuse prevention, treatment and overdose avoidance and response.”
September 27, 2017
Optimal is pleased to announce that it has received a contract from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Performance Management and Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) to support their program evaluation efforts.
September 20, 2017
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC today announced that it has been appraised at level 3 for Services (SVC) of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)®. The appraisal was performed by Abridge Technology. CMMI is a capability improvement framework that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance. An appraisal at maturity level 3 […]
August 17, 2017
Optimal is pleased to announce that it has received its second Authority to Operate (ATO) from the Acting CIO and Director of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) at CMS for the Learning System Data Management (LSDM) Data Management, Analysis and Reporting System (DMARS) system.
August 2, 2017
Dr. Brian Cramer and Rahul Rathi, along with Ebony Walton of NCES, presented on using Tableau for displaying percentile and regional data maps from NAEP assessments at the 2017 NCES DC-Stats in Washington, DC on August 2.
May 25, 2017
The Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) hosted its 34th Annual Symposium on May 25, 2017, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The HCIL symposium was founded in 1983 with a mission to transform the experience people have with new technologies. Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has been a long-term sponsor for this gathering of innovative thinkers.
March 7, 2017
Green growth is the process of fostering economic growth and development while still maintaining our natural resources. Green growth entails investment and innovation, by way of technology, giving rise to new economic opportunities. The environment must be sustained in the process of green growth. Rodney Schmidt, Ph.D. discussed the history and concept of green growth while examining green growth policy […]
February 21, 2017
Optimal Solutions recently released the Annual Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsor Tiering Determination Assessment as part of its contract through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) that was awarded in 2015.
February 16, 2017
Research suggest that more than half of community-dwelling older adults in America are at risk of malnutrition as a result of poor health outcomes. Erika Rogan, a PhD candidate in Health Policy and Management at Yale University, spoke with Optimal staffers to provide a deeper look into the relationship between nutrition investments and health outcomes.
January 20, 2017
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) is pleased to announce that it has received an Authority to Operate (ATO) from the Chief Information Officer at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Secondary Analysis for Results Tracking Education (SART-Ed) system.
November 1, 2016
The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) will hold its annual Fall Research Conference in Washington, D.C., on November 3–5, 2016.
July 19, 2016
Optimal’s Analytics team recently attended an in-house lecture given by Dr. Carolyn Seaman, who inspired the staff to think more deeply about the software they currently use to prevent accumulating “technical debt.”
June 30, 2016
Women business owners now have access to a web-based database that offers a wealth of information on everything they need to start and grow a business. Aptly named Grow Her Business, the site and database was recently launched by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) with assistance from Optimal Solutions, a public policy and research firm.
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