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).
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.
October 24, 2012
Students from the University of Maryland (UMD) will be visiting Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) on October 25 as part of the “Be the Solution” Business Plan Competition. The students are participating in a program launched in September which ultimately prepares them for competing for team prizes of up to $2,500 for the best start-up concept. The competition is sponsored […]
October 15, 2012
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) and its partner, American Institutes for Research (AIR), have been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to design and implement a program evaluation of the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration, which aims to increase the supply of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the U.S. […]
October 3, 2012
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) the Secondary Analysis and Results Tracking (SART) five-year contract to assist USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and the Environment’s Office of Education (E3/ED).
June 27, 2012
Dr. Neil Bania has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon. His research is focused on food insufficiency and other social policy topic areas including welfare, housing assistance, and transportation as well as state and local taxation policies. He joined the University of Oregon’s Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management in 2004 as an Associate Professor. Prior […]
May 29, 2012
Yan Sun is completing her Ph.D. in economics at George Washington University. Her dissertation research is focused on welfare, labor and education. She joined International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2002 after she received her Masters in Economics from Georgetown University. She is currently a Research Analyst at IFPRI where she conducts research on public investment in rural services, […]
February 28, 2012
Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Kenyon Crowley presented on the University of Maryland’s (UMD’s) health IT research initiatives at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC’s (Optimal’s) Annual Kick-Off meeting.
January 11, 2012
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently awarded the Education Statistics Support Institute Network (ESSIN) task order contracts and indefinite delivery indefinite quantity umbrella contracts for statistical support. Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) is among the awardees tasked to provide statistical analysis, project management and coordination services to the support program, as well as research initiatives of the Assessment […]
January 1, 2012
In September 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the Regional Cluster Initiative, a pilot program to promote and support ten clusters — geographically concentrated groups of interconnected businesses, suppliers, academic institutions, service providers, and associated organizations — across a wide variety of industries and regions throughout the United States. The SBA’s Cluster Initiative provides funding to the organizing […]
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