New Entrants and Small Business Graduation in the Market for Federal Contracts


This report tracks businesses new to the federal contracting arena from 2001-2016, otherwise known as new entrants, using publicly available contracting data from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Firm-level information on these vendors is collected over this time period and used to evaluate entrances, exits, and status changes among federal vendors with the purpose of comparing challenges faced by small businesses with those of larger ones. The final results compare the survival rates between small and non-small new entrants contracting with the federal government and calculate the graduation rates for those small new entrants who grew in size during the observation period and survived after ten years.

Samantha Cohen is a research associate with the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at CSIS. Gregory Sanders is a deputy director and fellow with the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG) at CSIS.

This material is based upon work supported by the Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program under Grant No. N00244-17-1-0018. The views expressed in written materials or publications, and/or made by speakers, moderators, and presenters, do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Naval Postgraduate School nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.


Gregory Sanders
Deputy Director and Fellow, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group

Andrew Philip Hunter