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 […]
Optimal develops AI-tool to assist government agencies identify qualified under-represented firmsRead more »
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 assessed the impact of small business development programRead 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 assessed the impact of SBA’s Emerging Leaders Training and Mentoring InitiativeRead 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 assessed the performance of the SBA small business regional clustersRead 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 analyzed small business program designed to provide business development assistanceRead 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 […]
Optimal Solutions Group Appraised at CMMI Level 3 – DevelopmentRead more »
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.
Using Mobile Applications in Opioid Treatment: Opportunities and ChallengesRead more »
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).
March 30, 2023
Optimal’s teams have made significant strides in leveraging the latest ChatGPT and BARD AI tools, which are already enhancing our Real-Time Framework for evidenced-based decision making. Through this cutting-edge technology, we have been able to generate software test scripts, social media content, resolve software development queries, and enhance web data scraping in a relatively short period of time. While we […]
February 17, 2023
Optimal Solutions Group (Optimal), a leading research and consulting firm, has been awarded the U.S. Department of Education (ED) PRESTO contract. Optimal is excited about this potentially 10-year IDIQ contract, which will enable them to continue to support the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Institute of Education Sciences, and other parts of ED in meeting the research, technical […]
September 27, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) launched a new interactive corporate website on September 24 that features Web 2.0 components such as Twitter, Facebook, and RSS Feeds. During the second phase of the launch, users will be introduced to virtual conferencing and live-streaming of Optimal presentations.
September 22, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) is a proud co-sponsor and active participant in the First Annual Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE). The conference is hosted by the Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Health Information and Decision Systems at the University of Maryland.
September 8, 2010
At the upcoming 50th National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Annual Workshop, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) Research Analyst II, Lindsey Cramer, will present on Optimal’s growing efforts to promote the data efficacy focus within two of Optimal’s fatherhood programs in Maryland: Strong Father/Strong Families and Winning Fathers Demonstration Project.
August 18, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has been contracted to work with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on the “Innovative Economies” Regional Cluster Initiative (RCI) support services project.
August 18, 2010
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) welcomed Dr. Ernst Nilsson as part of its Brown Bag Series. Dr. Nilsson’s presentation, entitled “Benefits Realization from Large Investments in IT” addressed the following key points:
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 […]
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