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 evaluated four Small Business Administration 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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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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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).
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 9, 2017
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 […]
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.
May 19, 2016
Ben Shneiderman is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science, founding director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.
May 18, 2016
The Forum will house over 600 attendees that will represent all levels of federal, state, local government agencies, the small business community, and large;and prime contractors.
April 22, 2016
Earth Day began as a way to raise awareness for environmental issues such as pollution and deforestation, but now Earth Day is an annual event that celebrates and demonstrates support for environmental protection.
September 29, 2015
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) was recently awarded a contract by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support the evaluation of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Business-to-Business Network Pilot Project, which consists of ten total sites.
July 24, 2015
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) observed Medicare’s 50th anniversary in July of 2015. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the insurance program for retired persons into the Social Security Act on July 30, 1965. Since then, Medicare has included benefits for speech, physical, and chiropractic therapy; benefits for younger […]
June 18, 2015
Access to public spaces, such as parks, green spaces or green infrastructure, has shown to be associated with improved levels of physical activity.
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