Deltek, a global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for government contractors and professional services firms, predicts a decline in the federal IT market from $101 billion in FY 2014 to $94 billion by FY 2019. Deltek’s Federal Information Technology Market, 2014 – 2019 report says market conditions continue to challenge federal agencies to be judicious in their pursuit of information technology capabilities, while shrinking budgets require agencies to reprioritize and focus on mission demands. The report offers guidance on how businesses may maximize their market positioning and agency relationships to best leverage federal business opportunities.
Support for HBCU Science Faculty & Students
A ScienceInsider article shows only one historically Black college — Florida A&M University — among the top 200 institutions receiving National Science Foundation research funding, and that only one of roughly 140 NSF Innovation Corps Teams (I-Corps) awards has gone to an HBCU faculty member. I-Corps identifies NSF-funded researchers for additional support to accelerate innovation that can attract subsequent third-party funding. The U.S. Senate’s 2015 spending bill requires NSF to provide HBCUs “no fewer than three” of the 15 awards it plans to make next year under one component of I-Corps program that teaches faculty how to commercialize their discoveries; carve out $7.5 million from existing minority activities for a program aimed at attracting students into the life sciences; and form a “high-level” advisory panel that will suggest ways to increase opportunities for HBCU faculty to obtain grants from the agency’s six research directorates. HBCUs hold nine of the top 10 spots on a list of undergraduate institutions that African-American students attended before receiving Ph.D.s in science and engineering.
A Home for The HistoryMakers
The Library of Congress will be the permanent repository for The HistoryMakers Collection, a chronicle of the life stories of thousands of African-Americans. The collection’s 9,000 hours of content includes 14,000 analog tapes; 3,000 DVDs; 6,000 born-digital files; 70,000 paper documents and digital files; and more than 30,000 digital photographs. Fifteen subject areas ranging from science, politics and the military to sports, music and entertainment group the 2,600 videotaped interviews with African-Americans in 39 states. Julieanna Richardson, founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers, says the collection represents the single largest archival project of its kind since the Works Progress Administration’s initiative to document the experiences of former slaves in the 1930s.
HUD Opportunity for Businesses
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 3 Business Registry (www.hud.gov/sec3biz) is now nationwide. Piloted in Detroit, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the registry allows businesses that meet one of the definitions of a Section 3 Business Concern to self-certify their status with HUD. It offers a searchable online database of self-certified Section 3 business concerns that can be used by government agencies, public housing authorities, developers, contractors and nonprofits to notify Section 3 Business Concerns about the availability of local HUD-funded contracts. The registry is expected to provide Section 3 Business Concerns better access to HUD-funded contracting opportunities in their communities.
Open Web Challenge
San Francisco-based CODE2040, a fellowship program that matches Black and Latino software developers with internships at top tech companies while providing fellows with leadership development support, won $400,000 as part of the 2014 Knight News Challenge. Launched in February, the challenge is a collaboration between Knight, Ford Foundation and Mozilla Foundation to fund projects that promote an open Internet that is free and accessible to all. Nineteen projects in all will receive a total of $3.4 million as winners. CODE2040 will develop a curriculum based on lessons from the program that will be offered to computer science students of color nationwide. Other winners include projects in New York City and Chicago that will lend Wi-Fi hotspot devices to families without high-speed Internet access.
Path to College Graduation
A National Urban League report, “From Access to Completion: A Seamless Path to College Graduation for African Americans,” found that 65 percent of African-American college students are categorized as “nontraditional” or “independent,” meaning they tend to be older and employees first, balancing work and family responsibilities while going to school. This has a direct impact on the kind of school they choose to attend, their enrollment intensity and the amount of financial aid they receive. The report recommends restoring the summer Pell Grant to enable students to receive Pell for all periods of enrollment; providing campus-based college completion capacity grants to help institutions serving large numbers of Pell recipients to develop and utilize robust data systems that trigger automatic interventions and supports; and leveraging national nonprofit intermediaries as partners to ensure college access and completion.
Savings Account Initiative
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 34,000 African-American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in health care, technology, education, housing and the environment, formed a partnership with TrustEgg to offer the latter’s expertise and resources to NBCI’s membership. The two organizations will work together through grassroots efforts to engage the Black faith community around the message that early financial planning delivers great rewards, and to create more than one million accounts with TrustEgg for families and children. Launched in 2013, TrustEgg enables anyone to create a trust for their child in minutes for free with no minimums. The trust can then be shared with friends and family.
Figuratively Speaking: Entrepreneurship in the United States
Americans today are the most positive about the U.S. environment for entrepreneurship since 1999 and are highly confident about their capabilities for starting a business, according to the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report from Babson College and Baruch College. At the same time, American women are starting businesses at a higher rate than any of the other 24 developed economies surveyed by GEM in 2013. Here are details:
• Percent of the U.S. population in the process of starting or running a new business in 2013: 13, or some 25 million Americans, the highest entrepreneurship rate reported among 25 developed economies surveyed from North America, Europe and Asia;
• Estimated number of these entrepreneurs projected to be employing five or more people in the next five years: 7.7 million;
• Percent of Americans who believe there are good opportunities for starting a business: 47, the highest level reported since the report began in 1999;
• Percent of Americans who believe they have the capabilities to launch a business: 56, a remarkably stable indicator despite recent fluctuations in the economic environment, and highest among the 25 developed economies assessed in the report;
• Percent of U.S. entrepreneurs expected to employ six or more employees in the next five years: 37;
• Proportion who say they offer innovative products or services to new customers with few competitors: more than one-third;
• Percent who report that more than 25 percent of customers come from outside the U.S.: only 11;
• Percent who have more than 25 percent Canadian customers: less than 1;
• Percent who have more than 25 percent Mexican customers: 2;
• Number of women in the U.S. starting or running a new business: one in 10, the highest rate among the 25 developed economies assessed in the report;
• Number of American women with growth-oriented businesses: 3.73 million (est.);
• Proportion of women entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses by more than five employees in the next five years: 36 percent, up from 31 percent in 2012;
• Country with the highest rate of entrepreneurship among 55- to 64-year-olds in the 25 developed economies surveyed: The United States;
• Percent of these entrepreneurs who come from the highest third of household income: 50+;
• Likelihood of older Americans to see entrepreneurial opportunities compared to younger Americans: equally likely;
• Risk-aversion among older U.S. entrepreneurs compared to their younger U.S. counterparts: less risk averse; and
• Confidence among older entrepreneurs in their abilities to start businesses compared to entrepreneurs ages 18 to 44 years of age: greater.
Source: 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)
U.S. Report from Babson College and Baruch College.