Improving Very Small Business Participation in the DIB: Reducing Roadblocks to Success with Don Shannon

The number of small businesses contracting in the Defense Industrial Base has shown a steady downturn over the past 10 years – decreasing by some 38 percent.  Particularly hard hit are the very small businesses who comprise some 77 percent of the small businesses in the DIB.  What factors or barriers are influencing this decline and how can those factors be remediated?


The presentation will delve into the extent of the problem and examine hypothesized root causes of the problem including cybersecurity requirements, accounting system requirements, and the government’s desire for of increasingly more mature business systems.  Solutions will include specifically tailored approaches towards Cybersecurity using the Cybersecurity in a Box approach as well as mentoring and business system software that is available via open-source programs.



  1. What is a VSB (‘not all businesses are created equal’)
  2. What are the statistics (number of small businesses, number of dollars spent, trends in the demographic sector)
  3. Potential factors or road blocks to entry or staying in the DIB
    1. Cybersecurity Level 1 or Level 2 and price tag for compliance
    2. Accounting systems – traditional small business accounting vs GovCon accounting – getting to an ‘acceptable’ accounting system
    3. Other business systems expected (Quality, Risk Management, Configuration Management, etc.)
  4. Solutions and assistance
    1. Traditional sources such as MEP and Apex Accelerator
    2. DoD Small Business Mentor-Protégé program
    3. SIBR Program
    4. Non-traditional approaches – Prime sub partnership (MP without the formalized process)
    5. Professional associations (NCMA, PMI, etc.)
  5. What’s in it for me?
    1. Primes – improved small business participation helping the SB Subcontracting Goals
    2. Primes – more competent and professional subs able to take on more complex projects
    3. VSB – Improved skills and competitiveness
    4. VSB – improved compliance with Contract T&C

Speaker: Donald (Don) Shannon

Mr. Shannon is a senior government contracts and proposal consultant at the Contract Coach in Albuquerque, NM. He previously was the Senior Contracts Manager with the Schafer Corporation in Albuquerque in 2013; a Senior Contracts Specialist at the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and a Contract Administrator and Deputy Program Manager with ABB North America at locations in in Auburn Hills, MI and New Berlin, WI.


Mr. Shannon’s credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Saint Leo College and a Master of Science degree in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He holds numerous professional certifications including Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM), Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) from the National Contracts Management Association and Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute.


Mr. Shannon is the recipient of numerous awards including the NCMA’s 2021 Outstanding Fellow Award He presently serves as a committee member on the NCMA Board, as a member of the NCMA Editorial Advisory Council and The National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) IPMD Working Group writing the Contracting with EVMS Requirements Handbook. He is a nationally recognized author and speaker who has published numerous articles in Contract Management Magazine, the Journal of Contract Management and is the author of two NCMA National Education Seminars.

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Jul 10 2024


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jul 10 2024
  • Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm



More Info

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Don Allen, NCMA VP Programs
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