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).
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
Four representatives from Optimal Solutions Group LLC (Optimal) will present research papers on the effects of federal contracting opportunities for small businesses at the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management’s (APPAM) 43rd Annual Fall Research Conference in Austin, Texas, this November. As part of the panel “The Effects of Government Procurement Policies and Practices in Advancing Small Business Contracting […]
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 […]
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 […]
December 6, 2011
University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, Associate Professor in Global Health, Dr. Muhiuddin Haider and doctoral student Ms. Hoda Sana will discuss South Asian neonatal healthcare and neonatal healthcare improvement on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. at Optimal Solutions Group’s, LLC (Optimal’s) office in M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. Dr. Haider and Ms. Sana’s discussion […]
November 15, 2011
In October 2011, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) received a three-year contract with USAID for international economic development evaluation work. With Optimal’s strong domestic program evaluation expertise, its approach to real-time monitoring and evaluation, experienced consultants and partners and its diverse and international staff, Optimal is pleased to have been chosen to support USAID efforts. The need for rigor coupled with timeliness is clear […]
November 9, 2011
University of Maryland Associate Professor Dr. Jeffrey W. Herrmann will share new innovative models to improve operations of healthcare organizations on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 11:45 a.m. This brown bag seminar will be held at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) headquarters located in M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland.
August 11, 2011
A recent publication titled “The Productivity of Elected and Appointed Officials: The Case of School Superintendents” aims at measuring elected and appointed school superintendents through a solid and critical quality measures systems established through rigorous research; the academic performance of children in school.
July 15, 2011
n 2011, The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program awarded Optimal Solutions Group, LLC, a $70,000 grant for the development of a virtual collaborative system in health care. The funding was in partnership with the University of Maryland Computer Science Department and Purdue University.
June 28, 2011
The National Forum on Education Statistics will hold its annual conference July 25-27 in Washington, DC. The conference focuses on “improving education data through best-practice guides on crime, violence, and discipline incident data, data use, education privacy, and Section 508 Accessibility.” Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has been accepted for vendor demonstration.
June 28, 2011
On June 15, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) held its fifth annual “Why Be an Economist Day?” for students ranging from college sophomores to graduate students from across the country. It was funded by the National Science Foundation, and the aspiring economists were part of the Summer Institute program sponsored by Howard University. They had the opportunity to benefit from […]
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