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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The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), as part of its efforts to reach out to small businesses, awarded Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) a contract to conduct the Annual Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsor Tiering Determination Assessment for 2014.
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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).
July 22, 2014
This year marks the fourth year of the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Regional Cluster Initiative pilot program.
January 31, 2014
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has struggled to regain political, social, and economic stability.
January 13, 2014
Poverty has afflicted Bangladesh since its independence in 1971. Since then, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has designed and implemented projects to promote private-enterprise development and employment generation. These previous USAID-funded projects had the same goals of 1) strengthening product, market development, and market linkages; 2) promoting economy-wide and sector-level reforms; and 3) increasing lending to target firms. […]
September 9, 2013
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held its bi-annual Education Summit from August 6 – 8 in Washington, DC.
September 9, 2013
Dr. Barbara Morgan, currently a senior lecturer and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University, will be giving a presentation on the key methodologies economists, sociologists and lawyers use to demonstrate whether or not discrimination exists in the labor market.
August 30, 2013
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in their efforts to reach out to small businesses, awarded Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) a contract to study and prepare a report which documents the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) providers and participant characteristics. The SFSP was designed to ensure that children who benefit from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and […]
August 5, 2013
The LEAP team conducted cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) of four agriculture-related projects in Ethiopia to assess the beneficiary, social, and financial outcomes of the following interventions: Agribusiness and Market Development (AMD), the Livestock Growth Project (LGP), Pastoralists Resiliency Improvement and Market Expansion Project (PRIME), and Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development Project (GRAD).
July 31, 2013
Scott Dempwolf, currently an Assistant Research Professor in the University of Maryland, Economic Development University Center will be presenting his dissertation on regional innovation clusters on Wednesday, July 31st at 12 noon at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal’s) office in M Square Research Park, Maryland.
July 3, 2013
In an effort to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger through its Feed the Future (FtF) global initiative, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works with host governments, development partners, and other stakeholders to address the root causes of global hunger. The initiative seeks to: 1) facilitate efficient market systems to meet the growing demand for food; 2) increase […]
July 1, 2013
In Turkey, The Ministry of Economy is implementing a project named the SME Networking and Clustering (SNC) Project) supported by the EU during the period from February 2011 to November 2013.
June 27, 2013
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) was contracted to work with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on its Regional Cluster Initiative in October of 2010. The SBA’s Cluster Initiative provides funding to the organizing entities of ten clusters in order to increase opportunities for small business participation within the clusters, promote innovation in the industries on which the ten clusters […]
April 9, 2013
Carol Boston- Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool), will discuss work in progress on iSchool research related to volunteer motivation to participate in citizen science projects, and the technology (including mobile apps and multi-user, touch-input-based tabletops) to support and encourage their participation on April 17, 2013 at 12 noon at Optimal Solutions Group, […]
January 14, 2013
This past September, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) opened its new innovation and entrepreneurship center (IEC) as a part of its ongoing commitment and focus in these areas. The center, which is operational, is located adjacent to Optimal’s current headquarters in the University of Maryland’s (UMD) M Square Research Park. Research park tenants, University of Maryland officials, clients and partners […]
December 1, 2012
The 2012 holiday charity collection focused on the survivors of Hurricane Sandy, which caused devastating damage to parts of New York and New Jersey in late October 2012. Over $600 was donated to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief with staff contributions matched by the company. In addition, staff also collected supplies for Health Care for the […]
November 15, 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (“Optimal”) for the Medicare Advantage and Part D Quality Oversight, Monitoring, and Best Practices task order.
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