The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is Columbia University’s newest and New York City’s largest academic science building. It was built with 32% of its construction provided by minority, women, and local (MWL) businesses. 50% of its workforce hours were provided by MWL businesses. Why does this matter? Interise data shows that small business contracting with anchor institutions, such as universities and hospitals, can enable inclusive economic development. The same is true of contracting with government agencies. The more anchor institutions and government agencies realign procurement practices to contract with small businesses, the further we leverage small business growth to create good, local jobs.

Companies with contracts not only create more jobs, they create jobs with higher salaries and more benefits compared to companies without contracts. That’s the #ContractingFactor, an important insight from Interise’s 2016 Impact Report.
Contracting Factor

Like anchor institutions, governments have great potential to create opportunity for inclusive economic development. In 2015, the federal government spent approximately $355 billion on contracting with nearly 26% of actual expenditures going towards transactions with small businesses, exceeding its goal of 23%. Imagine how public agencies at all levels of government and other anchor institutions could leverage the #ContractingFactor for inclusive economic development if they pushed their small business and MWL targets towards the 35% of Columbia University or the 45% of the city of San Antonio. Interise will be conducting research to demonstrate this potential on job creation and inclusive economic development.


Interise’s 2016 Impact Report is based on our annual assessment of StreetWise ‘MBA’™ alumni. The questionnaire was sent to 1,669 alumni from 2013, 2014, and 2015 cohorts to collect 2015 business outcomes and CEO behavioral data, yielding a response rate of 52%.