(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off Small Business Week by announcing innoMAYtion, a month-long initiative to showcase innovative programs that will create jobs, engage residents, and position the District as a hub of innovation. Highlighting public and private sector programs, innoMAYtion will concentrate on innovative ways the city responds to meet the needs of District communities.
"Throughout the month of May, my Administration will showcase how District residents and businesses are creating economic opportunity for residents by taking innovative approaches to complex problems," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "In Washington, we are tackling challenges head on and creating good-paying jobs that create pathways to the middle class for District residents."
Events throughout the month will focus on key priorities for the Bowser Administration, including education, technology, small business, the creative economy, and good government.
To kick-off innoMAYtion, Mayor Bowser and Director of Department of Local and Small Business Development (DSLBD) Ana Harvey officially launched CompeteDC, an innovative capacity building and bonding support initiative that prepares small, emerging enterprises to take advantage of the District's local procurement power. CompeteDC includes four program components to increase the competitiveness of District firms: bonding, teaming, mentorship, and capacity training. The initiative is a partnership with a number of community-based small business service providers.
Held at the offices of The Menkiti Group, a District-based small real estate company, Mayor Bowser and Surety Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) President Lynn Shubert signed a bonding support agreement. SFAA will provide Surety professionals who will serve as facilitators for a five-week bond readiness program that is available to any qualified District small business. The goal of this innovative, cooperative effort between DSLBD and SFAA is to grow the pool of bondable D.C. small businesses capable to compete for local contracting opportunities.
Bowser also welcomed the first class of participants in CompeteDC's CEO Growth Academy an extensive six-month training program for executives of emerging real estate and construction firms. DSLBD is currently accepting applicants for the next class at the CEO Growth Academy.
"We are taking an innovative approach to providing vital resources to small construction and real estate companies in the District. CompeteDC will help further our mission to foster economic growth, development, and retention of D.C.-based businesses," said DSLBD Director Harvey.
Later this week, as part of innoMAYtion, the Mayor will join 1776, a D.C.-based global technology incubator, to announce a pilot program that will provide high-potential, low-income high school graduates with training opportunities for jobs in the digital economy.
This week's innoMAYtion events will culminate with a Hackathon and Policy Jam on Saturday, a full-day event hosted by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and Code for D.C. that will bring together civic hackers, transportation experts, urban planners, academics, entrepreneurs, and community members to develop innovative solutions to D.C.'s transportation challenges.
To view the full calendar of events or to join innoMAYtion by contributing ideas, visit innoMAYtion.dc.gov.