First, with regard to the 5% set-aside, for percentages of set-asides, you have to be careful. I would like to say yes, that I would support the 5% set-aside, but we need to find out who's available to supply. One of the issues that we had here in Newfoundland and Labrador was that we didn't want to go out and say you had to do a certain percentage of business with women-owned businesses if we didn't know that they existed in terms of being able to supply.
What is your supplier capacity versus the contracts you're putting out? That's a very big information piece. Is there a match? If only 1% of businesses can even bid on these contracts and you're asking for a 5% spend, you might be setting yourself up for an unsuccessful project. Really, it's about fact-finding and making sure there's a fit between them.
On the other part of your question on the innovation fund and OSME, yes, we do use OSME. We find OSME is very helpful when it comes to outreach. I think there's a larger role for OSME, us, and our business owners, and I think that's going to have to be spearheaded. I mean, we do it all the time, and we do bring OSME in, and they do work with them, but what's missing in that equation is the knowledge about possibility. If they think it's more possible, and we take down some of those barriers and make it easier to do the work with the federal government, our members will be more likely to then come and bid on those projects.
In that connection, our businesses are very small here—one to four employees, I would say. Revenues are also less than $200,000 for most of our members, so what we've been encouraging.... It's taken us a long time, and this is a cultural thing. I think Mr. Whalen would be able to support me on this, but traditionally Newfoundlanders have been holding things very closely and are very secretive and tight, because they don't want someone else to know what their business is and know what's going on.
We see this in a lot of markets. We've worked very hard over the last few years to let these people know that if you're a small business with one to four employees, you may never have the capacity to do this on your own. You have to partner with somebody else. We've done a lot of development on our side to help our businesses learn how to consult a lawyer to get a partnership agreement, how to team up on contracts, and how to be successful in that piece, because if we don't encourage them to work together, sometimes they're not going to be able to get it on their own anyway.
With regard to the innovation fund, yes, we are aware of it. What I don't like about some of the programs that the government has is that they're very sector specific. If you're looking at innovation tech, ocean tech, or aquaculture, those are not the sectors that women are in. WBE Canada talked about that as well. Most of them are in the service sector, and they are highly under-represented in the innovation and tech sector. We need to work on that. I think we're 10 years away from it.
I see you're going to cut me off.