We all know SMUD as a utility and recently CleanStart has shared how SMUD has leveraged its resources to promote clean energy, sustainability, and community development. While these all provide ways a startup can engage with SMUD, there are some ways you can do business with SMUD.
SMUD has set up specific programs to give small businesses an advantage in selling goods and services to it. SMUD has created a Supplier Education and Economic Development (SEED) Program to support businesses in SMUDs territory that qualify with the California Department of General Services (DGS) as a “Small Business or Microbusiness”. The SEED program provides qualified vendors a Bid Price advantage and extra points on their proposal evaluations. It also helps prime contractors find local sub-contractors, which helps them gain a competitive edge when developing their bids or proposals. SMUD awards $200 to $300 million in contracts every year, $40 to $60 million of which goes to SEED vendors and suppliers. SMUD wants to buy 20% of its goods and services from qualified small businesses.
SMUD’s Electronic Bid Solicitation System (EBSS) is where you can find opportunities to work with SMUD. This should be a bookmarked website for you just like PG&E, the California Energy Commision, California Air Resources Board, your local air district, and of course CleanStart.
An example of how you can use SEED to grow your Business is Anvaya Solutions. I talked with Shobha Mallarapu, President and CEO, to learn about how she grew her business. She founded Anyaya in 2007 and began attending classes SMUD offered on small business opportunities. There she learned about SMUD’s SEED program, applied and secured SMUD as her first customer.
From that first successful contract Mallarapu was able to use SMUD a launching point to work with other government entities and utilities across the US. Growing her business to over a dozen in the region. Mallarapu credits SMUDs employee’s with being very active in working with local businesses. Through them she was able to offer feedback and watch the SEED program change to better support small business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas is the Executive Director of CleanStart. Thomas has a strong background in supporting small businesses, leadership, financial management and is proficient in working with nonprofits. He has a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from California State University, Chico. Thomas has a passion for sustainability and a commitment to supporting non-profits in the region.