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 […]
August 12, 2010
On August 11, 2010, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) welcomed Dr. Calvin Johnson to present as part of its “Brown Bag Series.” Dr. Johnson’s presentation, entitled “Partnering to Enhance Offender Accountability,” covered:
July 22, 2010
On July 21, 2010, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) welcomed Dr. David Engel to participate in its Brown Bag Series. Dr. Engel, conducting his third such event with Optimal, discussed the writing and preparation elements necessary to create thorough and well-written expository documents. Dr. Engel stressed writing required a clear, unambiguous, efficient transfer of meaning, while emphasizing the paragraph as the thought […]
July 1, 2010
Optimal will welcome Calvin Johnson, Ph.D., to speak in its Brown Bag Series Wednesday, August 11, 2010. His presentation “Serving Ex-Offenders and Business Intelligence” will focus on the use of business analytics in the government.
June 30, 2010
In recent years, Optimal Solutions Group (Optimal) has taken on critical projects at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Leveraging its innovative approaches, Optimal has a policy perspective that understands its clients’ goals and objectives while applying information technology solutions.
June 30, 2010
Current trends show an increasing importance and need for comprehensive social media research. According to the World Bank, 75% of Americans are currently using the Internet. When combined with the 64% of Americans, identified by Harris Interactive as using social media, the importance of using conducting social media research and environmental scanning is apparent.
June 30, 2010
The National Center for Educational Evaluation (NCEE) and Regional Assistance recently released “The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts” final report which was funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). In collaboration with Mathematica, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) conducted the first large-scale randomized trial on the effectiveness of charter schools in multiple states and economics settings. Previous studies on […]
June 25, 2010
The Maryland Department of Human Resources contracted Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) to evaluate the effectiveness of the Winning Fathers Demonstration Project (WFDP). The program seeks to enable participating couples to develop healthy marital relationships in their homes and communities, improve the participating couples’ abilities to resolve conflict, advance the overall well-being of the children in the household, and improve […]
June 18, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), hosted its fourth annual NSF funded aspiring economist event. Students heard presentations from several key staff members highlighting the type of work an economist might undertake within Optimal’s four research centers: health, education, workforce development, and housing. The goal of these presentations was to explore the question of “Why Be an Economist?” in an age […]
June 17, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) recently hosted prominent government, educational, and business leaders to talk about employment options for low-skilled workers in the greater Baltimore Metropolitan area. For over two hours, Optimal researchers and Roundtable attendees shared information and stories in an effort to relay crucial information promoting workforce and economic development in the greater Baltimore area. The topics provided […]
June 4, 2010
Dr. Mark D. Turner (Ph.D. ’96) and his wife, Tracye have established an endowed scholarship to support undergraduate economics students at the University of Maryland who have demonstrated service and leadership. Deserving students of this scholarship will be selected based on their commitment to improve society as a whole through the improvement of minority communities. The Turners’ dedication to the […]
June 1, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Turner delivered the keynote address at the May 21 commencement ceremony for the Department of Economics at his alma mater, the University of Maryland.
May 20, 2010
Dr. Nancy Miller, associated professor at University of Maryland – Baltimore County, presented findings from a recent study on home and community-based care (HCBS) and its correlation to rebalancing long-term care systems. Dr. Miller’s presentation, “Medicaid Home and Community-Based Care,” discussed Federal and state policy initiatives related to long-term care, Medicaid’s role in providing long-term care, and factors that are […]
May 5, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC’s Principle Research Fellow Toks Fashola, Ph.D., recently participated in the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Annual Meeting in May, 2010. Dr. Fashola served as Chair for two sessions of the conference: “Academic Achievement and Learning for Life Due to Participation in Out-of-School Programs,” and “Multiple Identities for Blacks in Math, Science and Technology.” She also served […]
April 28, 2010
The Institute of Educations Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education contracted with Optimal Solutions Group, LLC to develop a guide for calculating statistical power for complex multilevel designs that are used in most field studies in education.
April 20, 2010
As part of the State of Maryland’s commitment to keep current on the pulse of local businesses, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown regularly makes time to tour sites across the state.
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