The Rowen Foundation Announces Groundbreaking 30% Commitment to Small, Minority- and Women-owned Businesses (SMWBE)

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

 In line with its mission and vision, and after input from a wide group of community stakeholders, the Rowen Foundation has adopted a minimum goal of 30 percent participation for small, minority- and women-owned business enterprises (SMWBE) in all Rowen Foundation vendor and contractor relationships. The 30 percent goal will be based on the total contract amount of all contracts with vendors and contractors involved with Rowen, a 2,000-acre knowledge community in eastern Gwinnett County, and is anticipated to continue across the life of the project. 

Rowen has a programmatic focus on agriculture, medicine and the environment. Led by the non-profit Rowen Foundation, Rowen will be a dynamic community with offices, research facilities, public and community spaces, residences and preserved greenspaces offering unparalleled economic opportunity to Gwinnett County, the state of Georgia, and beyond.  

“Rowen’s goals simply cannot be accomplished without comprehensive representation of the communities we will serve,” said Mason Ailstock, president of the Rowen Foundation. “Establishing an SMWBE commitment in our first year will allow Rowen to set a standard for diversity, deliver valuable perspective and experience to this project, and create opportunities for a wide variety of local and regional businesses.”  

The Foundation is asking each vendor and contractor to provide an SMWBE Utilization Plan detailing efforts for achieving the 30 percent minimum within its team as part of the proposal process. Each vendor’s utilization plan must include SMWBE outreach data, the estimated dollar value of the scope of work to be completed by the SMWBE and the name of the SMWBE to be utilized. A monthly report will be provided to the Rowen Foundation board of directors to ensure consistent implementation and progress toward the Foundation’s goal. While the Foundation will measure the 30 percent goal against its total volume of contracts, each contractor or vendor will be expected to have a plan to achieve 30 percent SMWBE participation, according to Ailstock. 

The Rowen Foundation expects work to begin on horizontal infrastructure (roads, sewer, water, etc.) in mid-2022.  

Parties interested in working on the Rowen community may submit their business information at to receive requests for proposals (RFPs) and more information.