Professional News

UK Launches Webinars to Help Small Businesses Work With UK

Marilyn Clark (left), Barry Swanson and Nancy Brown
(Left to right) Marilyn Clark, Barry Swanson and Nancy Brown.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2021) — The University of Kentucky, in partnership with the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KYPTAC), is launching a series of webinars educating small businesses and the public about how to conduct business with UK.

“We understand that UK is large and can be daunting to navigate for small and diverse suppliers," said Barry Swanson, UK chief procurement officer. "We are trying to simplify and explain our processes. This outreach effort with our partners at KYPTAC will have a huge impact on our program and ultimately this community.”

Nancy Brown, the executive director for KYPTAC, also realizes the importance of this partnership. 

“We share the same mission of developing businesses to become contract-ready," Brown said. "Together, the University of Kentucky and KYPTAC cover all 120 counties in the state. The classes are an effort to coach, train and equip businesses for contracting opportunities in Kentucky at the local, state and federal level."

The webinars will cover a wide range of topics, including how to become a certified business, how to do business with UK and informal sessions called Meet the Primes. This is a casual setting to learn more about the prime contractors in the Lexington area, many who do business with UK.

“I believe these casual introductions are a great way for prime contractors and subcontractors to meet when there is no pressure to compete for a bid. It’s great for relationship building," said Marilyn Clark, UK supplier diversity manager. "It is also an opportunity for small businesses to meet and explore joint ventures or strategic partnerships.

“Not only are we educating Kentucky businesses, but we are also identifying businesses that both UK and KYPTAC can work with. This is a way to draw people to us and then we can push them to opportunities at UK. We have a minimum 10% goal on the purchase of goods and services. Ultimately, we want to grow our local Kentucky based companies and by doing so, we impact the communities we serve."

This partnership is possible through a memorandum of agreement between UK and KYPTAC. Webinars, which are open to both businesses and the public, will be held several times each month. For more information and registration, visit


The mission of Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KYPTAC) is to promote Kentucky’s economic development by assisting companies who are in the process of providing products and/or services to the federal, state and local government. Funded in part by the Defense Logistics Agency, their vision is to grow Kentucky’s economy one small business at a time. KYPTAC is an initiative of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC).

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.