Creative named USAID’s Large Business Partner of the Year 


May 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development has named Creative Associates International its 2018 Large Business Partner of the Year in recognition of its success in contracting with U.S. small businesses.

Small businesses do not stand out because of their size, but rather because of the size of their impact tackling development’s toughest challenges.”

Leland Kruvant, Creative President and CEO

In its selection notification, USAID’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization commended Creative for its “great example of engagement in partnership and mentorship for the development and growth of U.S. small businesses.” In the fiscal year 2018, Creative awarded 38 percent of its subcontracted funds to U.S. small businesses.

Presenting the award at the 12th Annual Small Business Conference on May 14 in Washington, D.C., USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick told attendees: “The role of large businesses in achieving the agency’s small business subcontracting goals is a key component of our Small Business Program. Creative Associates International started out many years ago as a small business in the 8(a) business development program. They are an outstanding example of a firm that has succeeded far beyond expectations.”

Creative President and CEO Leland Kruvant thanked USAID for the recognition and affirmed Creative’s ongoing commitment to fostering the growth of small businesses as key partners in global development.

“In the competitive, dynamic and rewarding world of development, small businesses do not stand out because of their size, but rather because of the size of their impact tackling development’s toughest challenges,” Kruvant told the audience.

He explained how U.S. small businesses have competed and won contracts through open competitions listed by Creative.

For example, a company called Navanti was awarded a contract to use its applied analytics skills to support communities’ transition from conflict to peace in Northeastern Nigeria. Meanwhile, O’Brien Associates, a small business partner of Creative on several endeavors, was awarded a contract with the Zambia Read to Succeed project that enabled the project team to leverage resources from the private sector to support schools.

An ongoing commitment

“This award is especially meaningful to Creative,” Kruvant told the audience. “Forty-five years ago, Creative Associates International began as a small business founded by four incredibly visionary, talented and entrepreneurial minority women in a basement.”

Today, Creative is a thriving organization with more than 1,100 people working in more than two dozen countries.

Though Creative has graduated from being a small business itself, the organization is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities small businesses encounter. In the 1990s. Creative Founder and Board Chair Charito Kruvant served as the chair of the Advisory Council of the U.S. Small Business Administration and Creative continues to champion the interests of small businesses working with government.

The lessons of more than 40 years have been instilled into Leland Kruvant and other senior managers who lead Creative today.

“Becoming a successful small business owner is not a simple task and dreams do not materialize easily,” Leland Kruvant said during the May 14 event. “To truly succeed, one must possess a compelling business plan, a sound work ethic, leadership and a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

June 6 partnership event

To bolster support to its existing business partners and expand opportunity to new partners, Creative will be hosting a Small Business Engagement Event at its Washington, D.C. headquarters on June 6.

The event aims to connect small businesses with Creative’s leadership, business development team and technical experts to pursue collaboration on future business.

“We are eager to forge new relationships and deepen existing ones,” said Sharon Cooley, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Creative. “Small businesses are vital to our programming and our success, and we look forward to working together to create lasting, positive change around the globe.”

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