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).

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.