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The Case for Inclusive Innovation: Minority Entrepreneurship and America’s Economic Future

Blogged By: 
Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director
Created on May 17, 2016
 

  THE CASE FOR INCLUSIVE INNOVATION: MINORITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE BY: ALEJANDRA CASTILLO, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY  “If our nation is to remain globally competitive, we must leverage and engage our diversity, especially our minority entrepreneurs.”

Featured in the National Urban League 2016 State of Black America

What images come to mind when you read the words “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”?

If your primary points of reference are popular media or trade press, you might envision a fresh-faced 20-something-year-old on the leafy campus of a private university.

But, as the daughter of a Dominican Republic-born entrepreneur who came of age in the Bronx, I have a different take on American economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.  As the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I can accurately report that African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans now represent the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. 

MBDA Participates in the Department of Commerce's DOC Talks

Blogged By: 
Efrain Gonzalez, Jr. MBDA Associate Director Office of Business Development

watch the video

Watch the DOC Talks

Joann Hill, Chief, MBDA Office of Development and MBDA and Alika Kumar, Project Director of the Phoenix MBDA Business jointly participated in the Department of Commerce's first ever DOC Talks. Together, gave a talk entitled "Minority Business Enterprise Parity for National Economic Prosperity."

Benefits of Trade Agreements: U.S. Exports

Blogged By: 
From the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, ITA
Created on May 16, 2016
 

U.S. Export Growth to FTA Countries  versus Rest of World, 2009 - 2015 Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are an important tool to our nation’s economic growth and prosperity. As you know, an FTA is an agreement between two or more countries regarding certain obligations and protections in areas such as trade in goods and services, intellectual property, and investment. FTA objectives include the reduction of barriers to U.S. exports, protection of U.S. interests, and enhancement of the rule of law in partner countries. The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment facilitate and reduce the costs of U.S. company exports to partner markets.

The U.S. currently has FTAs in force with 20 markets worldwide. In 2015, U.S. merchandise exports to FTA partners totaled $711 billion. This comprised almost half (47%) of total U.S. goods exports in 2015.

Entrepreneur of the Month – May 2016

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on May 13, 2016
 

Archie WilliamsonThis month, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is proud to introduce Archie Williamson, founder and managing director of Diversified Systems, Inc. (DSI), as the May Entrepreneur of the Month. Archie truly exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit, having launched his management consulting firm more than 25 years ago with just $3,000 and a credit card. Today, DSI provides services in 10 states and the District of Columbia, with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

Archie’s journey as an entrepreneur began at the age of 10 where he delivered newspapers and cut neighbors’ lawns. At a young age, Archie felt compelled to serve others. As he progressed and acquired new skills in the field of consulting, Archie realized he wanted to create something of his own, as well as create opportunities for talented and hardworking people — two things he could not attain working in a corporate environment. When Archie approached his former company about the possibility of venturing into the public sector, they wanted nothing to do with that market.

Just last year, DSI acquired that company’s contracts and its employees.

MBDA Showcases the Importance of Inclusive Innovation at the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Conference

Blogged By: 
Julius Maina, MBDA Policy and Inclusive Innovation Specialist
Created on May 11, 2016
 

MBDA Showcases the Importance of Inclusive Innovation at the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Conference MBDA recently attended the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) National Meeting in Chicago, Illinois for the second year in a row. Touted as one of the most premier annual events in the technology transfer community, this year’s theme “From Discovery to Commercialization,”  focused on  collaboration between federal labs, private industry stakeholders and the American business community to move federal research and development out of the lab and into the U.S. marketplace.

In 2015, MBDA formed a new partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) to spur innovation within the minority business community by leveraging the vast amount of research and development (R&D) expertise throughout the national network of more than 300 federal laboratories.

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