Booz Allen Partners with the Vinetta Project to Empower Women-Led Small Businesses in Washington, D.C. to Change the World

Mar 1, 2018 10:40 AM ET

According to SmallBusinessData.Gov, the Federal Government is required by law to contract with small businesses. Currently, less than five percent of the government’s small business funding goes to women-owned businesses. Today, Booz Allen Hamilton announced its partnership with the Vinetta Project to help women founders and women-owned small businesses to access previously inaccessible networks, investors, customers, and partners. And, in light of National Women’s Month, it’s time to talk about a few numbers: 20, 35, 4 and 2.

Did you know:

  • Startups founded by women are 20 percent more likely to generate revenue.
  • Venture capitalists make 35 percent higher return on investment when they back women-led technology companies.
  • Washington, D.C. is ranked number 4 on the list of fastest-growing cities for women-led businesses.
  • But despite the clear potential for women-led companies, women receive less than 2 percent of venture funding.

“The lack of investment in women-owned businesses doesn’t surprise me, and that’s the problem,” said Dee Dee Helfenstein, senior vice president and leader of the Solutions Business for Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as a member of Vinetta’s DC Board. “What does surprise me is how much women-owned businesses, a market worth $2.8 trillion dollars annually, are underestimated. I’m proud Booz Allen believes in continuing to decrease the wage disparities between men and women by investing in women entrepreneurs and empowering women leaders.”

The Vinetta Project sources high potential female founders with proven business models and offers them access to proprietary events, resources, exclusive networks, and capital from vetted investors.

“Booz Allen is the perfect partner to work with in D.C. as they are well respected experts in their field, have deep networks, and will be pivotal in helping our founders monetize their businesses,” said Kelly O’Malley, Vinetta’s DC City Fellow.

In 2017, Vinetta engaged more than 200 female founders whose companies represented more than 20 industries including biotech, big data, robotics, security, govtech, edtech, and healthtech.

“Women-owned businesses are substantially underrepresented when working with the federal government,” said Helfenstein. “Booz Allen’s partnership with Vinetta aims to help close that gap.”

Over the course of the year-long partnership, Booz Allen will support Vinetta by hosting a series of technical workshops and offering mentoring opportunities, office hours, various innovation community engagements, and more.  

“This represents another example of how our firm looks to solve problems through integrated and innovative partnerships with community organizations,” said Christine Hoisington, Community Partnerships Lead at Booz Allen. “We go beyond simply writing a check to bring the full range of our capabilities and resources for greater and longer-term impact.”

Here are a few additional numbers to know: 3, 100 and 1.

  • Three billion is the amount of federal funding dollars required to go to women-owned small businesses.
  • Through its partnership with Vinetta, Booz Allen aims to support at least 100 women-owned small businesses and women founders through education and connection opportunities.
  • Although there’s a long way to go to bridge the gap of funding for women-led small businesses, it only takes one company to spark the change. 

Booz Allen has a history of supporting women in the workplace. Diversity—of background, experience, and thought—is essential to maintaining the excellence of the work that the firm is known for. And, as a leader in management and technology consulting and a top employer of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent, the firm is committed to increasing the number of women making impactful change in today’s society.

To learn more about Booz Allen’s commitment to women on the leading edge, click here.