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Producing Results through Growth and Expansion Strategies

Blogged By: 
Patricia Tomczyszyn, MBDA Public Affairs Specialist
Created on August 14, 2014
 

The Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses; and most of our work is accomplished through our nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers and their work directly with the nation’s MBEs. While, we often report their successes in terms of contracts and capital obtained for MBEs, we rarely talk about how they do it. With this business center profile we hope to give you an inside look at one of our 44 Centers—the Phoenix MBDA Business Center. 

AZ MBDA Business Center FY 2013 PerformanceBringing in $587 million in contracts and capital for MBDA Business Center last year, the Phoenix MBDA Business Center is one of the highest performing in the country. Their assistance helped clients to create 1,447 new jobs and save 552 more in FY 2013. Led by Executive Director Alika Kumar, the Center’s success can be attributed to the well-rounded team of four who, together, possess the experience and technical expertise to guide their diverse clientele to a level of growth that the MBEs did not foresee. One successful client, Fortis Networks, grew its annual revenue from $500,000 to over $26 million since becoming a client in 2009.

Although most of the firms assisted by the Phoenix Center are in construction and related industries, its clientele also includes firms in architecture, air transport, trucking, engineering, forestry, and automobile manufac- turing. Regardless of the industry, companies needing financing and capital can count on the Phoenix MBDA Business Center, and David DeLeon, business development specialist, to provide expert financial consulting services. DeLeon was one of the first business center staff members to become certified by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) as a “delegated authority” who can approve loans up to $500,000. He also works with Ex-Im Bank on behalf of clients who need more than $500,000 in financing to sell their products abroad. DeLeon can be credited, in large part, for making Phoenix the highest performing MBDA Business Center for capital transactions, with a total of $520 million during FY 2013.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Highlights U.S. Commitment to Doing Business In Africa

Blogged By: 
Commerce.gov Blog
Created on August 13, 2014
 

Secretary Pritzker Joins Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama at the U.S.-Africa Business ForumOriginally posted on the Commerce.gov Blog

On August 5th, at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker highlighted a number of Commerce Department efforts to help more American businesses explore opportunities in Africa’s fast-growing markets. The Forum, focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent, was part of President Obama’s three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government.

Co-hosted by the Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the U.S.-Africa Business Forum was created to encourage greater U.S. investment in Africa, foster business deals, and help create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. During remarks at the Forum, President Obama announced that U.S. businesses have already committed to investing $14 billion in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction projects, among other commitments totaling more than $33 billion that support economic growth in Africa and thousands of U.S. jobs.

The Commerce Department leads the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign, which was launched in 2012 as part of the President Obama’s “U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa.” DBIA aims to increase U.S. trade promotion to Africa, address market barriers, expand the availability of trade financing, and attract more American companies to explore sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment opportunities.

Build on U.S.-Africa Business Forum by Discovering Opportunities in Africa

Blogged By: 
Tradeology, the ITA Blog
Created on August 13, 2014
 

Discover Global Markets

This post originally appeared on the Tradeology, the ITA Blog

The United States is putting full focus on doing business in Africa, following President Obama’s  U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum. Business Forum co-hosts Bloomberg.org and the Department of Commerce project the event will catalyze $14 billion in new business deals.

Even though the Forum is now behind us, there are still plenty of new opportunities available in Africa, and the International Trade Administration wants to help you find them.

The new Doing Business in Africa portal is a one-stop shop for finding resources, seeing success stories, and learning about opportunities on the continent.

The upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Sub-Saharan Africa event in Atlanta, Nov. 5-6, will bring together private and public sector experts to discuss:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Shares Economic Development Opportunities in California

Blogged By: 
Commerce Blog
Created on August 12, 2014
 

Representative Barbara Lee, Secretary Penny Pritzker, Clifton Burch, President at Empire Engineering & Construction, Inc. and MBDA National Director Alejandra CastilloLast year, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker unveiled the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda,” a bold policy agenda focused on boosting trade and investment, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and unleashing more government data. Yesterday, she took the Agenda on the road to California. Along with Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) National Director Alejandra Castillo, Secretary Pritzker spoke to local businesses and community leaders about the Obama Administration’s work to spur continued economic growth and job creation through support of exporters, entrepreneurs, and small, women- and minority-owned businesses.

Secretary Pritzker joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), a strong advocate for minority economic development and trade policy, at a regional economic development forum at the Oakland Airport, hosted by Lee. The Secretary delivered remarks highlighting a number of Commerce Department resources available to help foster economic growth. Noting that exporting is an essential tool for economic development, she discussed the Commerce Department’s NEI/NEXT initiative, a data-based, customer-driven effort to help U.S. companies increase their exports to international markets. Secretary Pritzker also talked about the work of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help manufacturers boost productivity and growth, as well as investments by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help attract new industries and create jobs. Through these and other tools, the Commerce Department is helping businesses in California and across the country to grow and hire. 

Entrepreneur Builds on Family’s Example, Grows Successful Business

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on August 12, 2014
 

Purnima Voria

Purnima Voria’s story is one of inspiration and achievement.  Growing up in India, Voria watched her father build a successful company importing U.S. farm equipment.  After several years and many business successes, her family came to the U.S. to pursue the American dream.  Inspired by her father’s example, she merged her love for her home and her newly adopted-country, and developed a strong desire to help U.S. business owners bring high quality products overseas to India.

In 2005, Voria founded the National U.S. India Chamber of Commerce (NUICC ), which leads trade missions and delegations to India.  These missions began humbly, with her using her family and social connections to help a U.S. textile machine manufacturer with embroidery computer software to access the Indian market.  Thanks to her connections and know-how, Voria was able to help the U.S. textile manufacturer connect with the top Indian manufacturer of textiles clothing, an exporter to major U.S. clothing stores.  With only a handshake to seal the deal, they were able to sell 100 machines with software packages.  Voria had found her niche and recognized the positive impact that she could have on both countries by serving as a mentor to U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs.

Her efforts did not go unnoticed.  In 2005, she was awarded a Congressional Medal of Distinction for her outstanding leadership in business and her contributions in helping to grow the U.S. economy.  The Wall Street Journal also honored Ms. Voria as Business Woman of the Year.

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients secure contracts totaling $6.9 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Contracts

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