Pentagon Unveils Small Business Strategy; Kathleen Hicks, William LaPlante Quoted

2 mins read

The Department of Defense has unveiled a plan to harness the full potential of the small business industrial base to strengthen the development of innovative systems and capabilities for the warfighter. 

The Small Business Strategy outlines three strategic objectives to expand the Pentagon’s partnerships with small businesses that offer technologies designed to address the most complex challenges facing the U.S. military, the DOD said Thursday.

As part of the first objective, the framework aims to implement a unified approach to managing small business programs and activities distributed across the military services, defense agencies and DOD components.

The second objective states that to address national security concerns, DOD small business activities must align with national security priorities to ensure access to secure products and services.

The strategy’s third objective focuses on strengthening the DOD’s overall engagement and support of small businesses. 

According to the strategy, the Pentagon must also enhance its ability to engage with companies from underserved communities by lowering barriers to entry and increasing set-asides for small business competitions.

“Reducing barriers and creating more opportunities for small businesses will allow us to expand, innovate, and diversify, increasing our warfighter advantage, strengthening our supply chains, increasing competition in our marketplace, and growing our economy here at home,” said Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense and a 2023 Wash100 Award winner.

“All of American industry, especially our innovative small businesses, has a role in developing, delivering, and sustaining the critical capabilities that are required to further implement the National Defense Strategy,” said William LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and a fellow 2023 Wash100 Award recipient.

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