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It all starts with an idea. Sometimes it can be as simple as a “what-if” lodged in the back of our minds that can spark the next great invention. A simple idea, when coupled with ingenuity and opportunity, can transform the world we live in for the better. That’s the awesome power of innovation.
Innovation, one of the Commerce Department’s five strategic goals, is defined as “the invention, improvement, and commercialization of new products, processes, and services ...” It plays an integral role in the mission of all 12 bureaus housed within the department.
The rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States during the last several decades, which is projected to continue increasing in the years ahead, presents significant challenges as well as huge opportunities for our country. At the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) 2016 Annual Policy Conference, the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) both worked to promote business development and entrepreneurship as critical elements within in the nationwide efforts to maximize the potential of the Hispanic community and in doing so the immediate and long term global competitiveness of the entire American economy.
Serving as the keynote speaker during the closing plenary session titled, “Understanding the Hispanic Consumer,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker went beyond the discussion of what products and services Latinos consume most and the significance of their growing buying power. Secretary Pritzker emphasized the importance of supporting the growth and development of Hispanic owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Her remarks highlighted the fact that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the American economy, and therefore represent a talent potential critical to America’s immediate and long term success.
Join the U.S. Commercial Service and the Illinois District Export Council for Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities. This conference for U.S. exporters brings together trade experts, industry professionals, and U.S. commercial diplomats via panels and executive meetings to address opportunities and demand for new technologies to make cities more sustainable. Your firm will leave this conference with the critical next steps needed to transform market potential to market success in markets of interest across the world.
Spotlight on Commerce: George Laws Garcia, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, MBDA
Guest blog post by George Laws Garcia, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, Minority Business Development Agency
As part of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) I work to engage Congressional, state and local officials to help create favorable conditions for minority businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper. In this role I have the opportunity to support capacity development in Hispanic and all minority communities to build and grow our own businesses, create good jobs in our communities, provide needed goods and services in our domestic markets, and to utilize our cultural, linguistic and international knowledge as a competitive advantage to export globally.
Given the rapid growth of minority communities in the U.S. and the generational shift in America’s workforce which will soon see us becoming a majority minority nation, the need to support the growth of minority businesses and entrepreneurs has never been more important to keeping America Open for Business. I help shape America’s policy and legislative agenda toward minority businesses through strategic advocacy efforts that, not only raise awareness about the issues impacting minority business communities, but also increase understanding of the importance of minority business growth to America’s domestic and global economic competitiveness.
To Venture or Not To Venture
A Look at Venture Capital
Often times, minority business owners are reluctant to apply for business loans for fear of receiving too little credit, having to pay outrageous interest rates, putting up higher collateral, or total rejection. So, the question is asked – what can you do as a business owner to get the necessary working capital to take your business towards the next level of success?
Venture capital (VC) may be the solution. Simply put, VC is a type of private equity - a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, emerging firms that show high growth potential. VC financing can take the form of debt, equity, or mezzanine financing. Interested in learning more? Visit our website, and discover helpful tips and advice.