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The Inaugural AAPI Business Summit: Inclusive Innovation Drives Economic Growth

Blogged By: 
Albert K. Shen, MBDA National Deputy Director
Created on May 26, 2016

AAPI Welcome SignsHighlighting the critical nature of their role in America’s global economic position, the U.S. Commerce Department launched the first-ever Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Business Summit May 25.

Co-hosted by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the Commerce Department, and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the day-long event drew more than 200 members of the AAPI business community, including entrepreneurs, policy makers, and business leaders. Speakers included Congressional representatives and Obama Administration officials who addressed a range of topics and policies focused on strengthening economic ties and creating growth opportunities.

The Summit provided a broad overview of Obama Administration economic development priorities affecting AAPI business owners – one of the fastest-growing populations in the United States. The program centered on solutions for business owners seeking to scale up enterprises, including expanding to overseas markets, accessing capital, and entering high-growth industries such as technology and other STEM-based sectors.

AAPI-Owned Enterprises: An Expanding Part of U.S. & Global Commerce

Nearly 2 million businesses are owned by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide, employing 3.6 million workers, and generating nearly $700 billion in revenue annually, according to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.  In addition, Census Bureau research indicates that as the U.S. population becomes ‘majority minority’ by 2044, AAPI will represent a significant portion of America’s overall population.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in an Innovation Economy

Blogged By: 
Jennifer Rimbach, MBDA Business Development Specialist
Created on May 26, 2016

There has recently been an overwhelming spike in attention to the lack of diversity in the innovation economy in the United States. Unfortunately, it is common to see this string of words illuminated under a negative light. For the past several years, industries that are the economic drivers for growth in the United States have made up the innovation economy.

In fact, in 2016 the term “economy” could also be interchangeable with “innovation economy,” as the most profitable industries fall in this sector. These industries that include technology (i.e. health, digital, information, etc.), materials science, and computing lack both gender and racial diversity. With the changing demographic in the United States and the Census Bureau projecting that we will become a majority-minority nation in 2044, there is an urgent and critical need to embrace diversity and inclusion in the innovation economy. If not, the United States will continue to face negative economic and social consequences due to increased inequality and widening of the wealth gap.

Let the Countdown Begin: 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit

Blogged By: 
Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA
Created on May 26, 2016

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA.

The countdown to the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit begins today! In four weeks, June 19-21, President Barack Obama will welcome economic developers from across the country and companies from around the world to Washington, D.C. The SelectUSA Summit is the highest profile event to promote job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.

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

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