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Kathleen Hicks Highlights Importance of Creating Opportunities for Small Businesses

1 min read

Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said that easing the barriers that hinder small businesses to work with the Pentagon is critical to allowing the U.S. military to expand, innovate and diversify warfighting capabilities.

Speaking remotely at the Defense Department Small Business Training Week Conference, Hicks said small businesses play an essential role in helping DOD develop innovative technologies designed to maintain battlefield advantage, the Pentagon reported Tuesday.

In a Twitter post, Hicks said small businesses are indispensable in helping defend the U.S. and are “vital to the entire spectrum of DOD’s needs.”

However, Hicks acknowledged the challenges faced by small businesses in pursuing contract opportunities with DOD and noted that the department is taking steps to increase their participation in the defense industrial base.

Among these initiatives is the Mentor-Protege Program, which helps eligible small businesses partner with larger companies to become part of the DOD supply chain.

DOD also has designated centers for providing technical assistance to small businesses looking to work with local, state and federal government agencies.

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