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Karen Viera: Doctor, CEO, and SBA Award Winner

 In Blog, GovCon Tips, Success Profiles

Learn from the doctor, CEO, and SBA Award Winner, Karen Viera, on how you don’t have to be an 8a certified to do business with the government!


Born in Barbados, Dr. Karen Viera came to Florida at the age of 18 to attend the Florida Institute of Technology.

She has a master’s in management, a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences, and is a proud graduate of the SBA Emerging Leaders program.

She is also the founder and CEO of The Med Writers, a company providing writing and consulting services for the food, supplement, and biotech industries. 

Apart from that, she also founded Make a Supplement, a team of scientists and doctors who work on any supplement and health-related projects. 

Dr. Karen Vieira is the SBA Miami’s 2018 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year.


Dr. Viera really loves writing, and she started writing on a freelance basis.

Then, when there was more work than she could handle, that’s when she started to subcontract it to some of her school friends. 

The small project then grew and was eventually incorporated as The Med Writers.

She then started learning more about building a successful business through reading a handful of books and resources and joining different programs. 

She even joined the SBA Emerging Leaders Program, as well as other related programs, to learn about the government space.

“Both of those programs made me stop, evaluate my business, ‘Where am I at? Where am I headed?’ Create a plan, a three-year, five-year kind of plan, and then start back on my trajectory, rather than continuing blindly.”

Meanwhile, she also built Make a Supplement in order to help a handful of people to get their supplements off the ground. They help them with the writings and marketing for the supplement. 


1. Run your business right. 

Stop running your business like it’s an afterthought. Instead, your business should come first. 

With this in mind, don’t let anything hold you back. Remember, the world is your playground, and anything you want to accomplish in life, you can do if you set your mind to it.

“Don’t overthink it, just do it. Put one foot in front of the other. Figure (it) out.”

2. Small businesses don’t show up in other markets. 

As competitive as other markets might be, there are still a handful of niches where nobody is showing up. 

So, what you need to do is to respond to it. If it’s out of your league, you might want to work with a prime or tell other small businesses. 

Consider that if no small businesses show up, most opportunities will just be handed directly to huge corporations. 

3. Go for opportunities that suit your business.

The biggest misconception that people have is that most 8a businesses got their contracts because of their certification.

That idea is not true because these 8a businesses still need to bid and respond to sources sought notices. 

Besides, there are a handful of variables that come with an award. For example, the federal buyer might want to award it because they’re the lowest bidder, or they just provide the necessary solution, among others. 

So, you need to know your business and your numbers and then bid for opportunities that make sense for your products and services. 

4. Be better at writing proposals.

One skill that you need is being able to write a good proposal.

Consider that these federal buyers want responses that follow the format, so if you don’t follow the format or don’t really know how to write well, then you might not be evaluated at all. 

This is why Dr. Viera recommends having different people on the team with different expertise related to what you offer and others who are more specialized in the technical writing stuff.

“Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate things, and don’t overanalyze things. Just do it. Action.”


If you want to learn more about how SBA Award Winner Dr. Karen Viera built her business, then be sure to click the resources below.

You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu, where you learn everything about government contracting!

10: Medical writing, proposal writing, CEO and SBA Award Winner


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