The Power of Procurement

Women-owned small businesses make up a significant proportion of all firms in t he Los Angeles region with just over 20 percent of all businesses in the Los Angeles region being owned by women. And women-owned businesses are extremely diverse, with almost half of women-owned businesses in the region being minority-owned.

Procurement contracting gives businesses, particularly small businesses, an opportunity to earn revenues that can significantly improve their financial prospects. While the City of Los Angeles has recently made great strides to reform and improve their procurement environment, women-owned businesses are still significantly underrepresented in the City of Los Angeles’ procurement process in terms of both share of allocated procurement spending awards and representation in the city’s Regional Alliance Marketplace for Procurement (RAMP), a portal that centralizes both public and private procurement opportunities. Lack of funding to support many women-owned businesses means that these businesses often lack the financial health, resources, and workforce necessary to successfully bid for government contracts.

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, the LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics developed this study to highlight the need for a more inclusive procurement processes to empower the city’s women-owned businesses to generate revenue and experience company growth.

As a result of this study, the Mayor issued an executive directive on gender equity, which called on every City Department to help Los Angeles fulfill its responsibilities under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

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