On May 4, 2016 USAID hosted the 9th Annual USAID Small Business 2016 Conference in Washington DC. The day-long event convened more than 200 US-based small businesses together to exchange experiences, understand strategic directions, and learn how to work with USAID. The event included an opening address from USAID Administrator, Gayle Smith, who mentioned LINC’s work supporting civil society organizations in Mexico, and a plenary panel on USAID’s strategic directions highlighting LINC project examples with both USAID Mexico and the Global Development Lab.
After lunch LINC Managing Director Patrick Sommerville, participated in an hour-long panel entitled, “US Small Business Success Stories”, along with representatives from two other US-based small businesses, SSG Advisors and IBI. Mr. Sommerville spoke about LINC’s work with local organizations and specific experiences implementing prime contracts and research and development grants with USAID. Mr. Sommerville explained LINC’s local organization-centric business model and approach, including products and services designed specifically for them such as PICKS, Social Network Analysis and our CDDE methodology. Much of the subsequent discussion was dedicated to the partnering process, and how we can best identify local organizations with the capacity to design and implement complex programming while retaining deep roots in their community and a vision for locally-led development.