Published by Keen Independent Research
In this study, the authors examined Minnesota’s Hennepin County, particularly the race and gender-neutral Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program that has been operating since 1996. Keen Independent examined County procurements from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016. Of the county’s $2.98 billion total procurement for this time period, 3,857 procurements (including subcontracts) that totaled $1.4 billion were included in the disparity analysis. The County when studied had an overall goal of 25 percent SBE utilization for construction and for professional services and a 20 percent goal for commodities and other biddable services. The study found that while the SBE program has made progress in encouraging the utilization of minority and women-owned firms, these firms still receive only slightly more than 50% of the County procurement dollars they might be expected to win under parity.