EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY SUCCESS STORIES
Any entrepreneur who sets up shop in Montgomery County has come to the right place. Successful woman-owned small businesses range from fabulous restaurants, retail and professional services, to emerging technology companies. Our women are diverse, with a melting pot of cultures represented in the workspace. Women are also creating businesses at twice the rate of men—making 36% of all businesses in the U.S. now woman-owned. Let MCEDC connect you to organizations focused on your helping business prosper in Montgomery County.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I always knew I wanted to have my own business. We’re a tech company with a soul, and we have a great opportunity to help other small and mid-sized companies like ours.
A TOP STATE FOR WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESSES
Maryland has outpaced other states concerning the number of female-owned businesses per 1,000 residents, according to the payroll firm Paychex. Maryland has about 17.5 female business owners per 1,000 residents, topping Rhode Island’s 14.8 and Washington’s 13.4. Kensington made the list as well—its rate of 2.1 female business owners per 1,000 residents was the second-most among towns and cities in Maryland.
ASSISTANCE FOR WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESSES
Montgomery County has dedicated resources to support your venture. Add in networking groups and mentoring opportunities and you’ll see that Montgomery County is ready to support woman leaders. Here are just some of the Montgomery County resources available to our entrepreneurs.
WORKSHOPS & TRAINING
Classes and workshops on business topics help women take their companies to the next level. Here are a few of the area’s support services for woman-owned businesses.
Montgomery County also makes education the highest priority, creating an active pipeline to entrepreneurial success.
- Montgomery College Business Education – Helping local businesses build a more efficient, effective and highly motivated team.
- Montgomery College Hillman Entrepreneurs Program – A scholarship and educational program designed to support, develop and graduate ethical leaders who want to energize and give back to their local communities. Open to all transferable majors starting at Montgomery College and finishing at the University of Maryland, College Park.
- Macklin Business Institute (MBI) – Originally a one-year sophomore-level honors business program, MBI has since grown to incorporate an additional two-year program for students applying to Montgomery College as freshman. MBI is an experiential learning program for business students to get hands-on experience in the business world and local community.
- The Universities at Shady Grove – Offers a full range of business courses from leading Maryland universities.
General Business & Technical Assistance
Businesses in Montgomery County have access to assistance from many sources. Explore these resources to find the one that best fits your needs and goals. Click below to find online resources, business courses, mentoring, one-on-one business counseling and connections to financing.
Contracts, Opportunities and Procurement Resources
Montgomery County has developed a variety of tools to help businesses owned by women who would like to pursue contracting opportunities. Take advantage of these resources to research what the county buys, who currently holds contracts and when opportunities might come up for bid.
- Central Vendor Registration System (CVRS): Self-managed database of vendor information used by public entities to identify businesses that can respond to solicitations. Businesses can register in the Local Small Business Reserve Program and include business certifications.
- Contract Search: Access to information on contracts including incumbent vendors and contract expiration dates.
- Current Solicitations: Opportunities available for bid.
- dataMontgomery: Direct access to County datasets, including county contracts dataset, in consumable formats.
- Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP): Sets aside 20% of eligible procurements for local small businesses.
- Minority, Female and Disabled-owned (MFD) Program: Expands opportunities for MFD firms on County contracts.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY’S BUSINESS PROGRAM CERTIFICATION
A business owned by a woman, minority, or disabled person is a firm that is at least 51% owned, controlled and managed daily by one or more persons of minority status. To participate in Montgomery County’s Minority Business Program, a firm must be certified by one of the six agencies listed below. The County’s Procurement Regulations encourage departments and agencies to actively recruit certified MFD-owned businesses to provide goods, services (professional and non-professional) and construction services for performing government functions.
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Director of Small and Minority Business Development