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Two-time MED Week Award Winner Builds Successful Business

Blogged By: 
Justin Chang, MBDA Intern
Created on July 2, 2014
 

With the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference fast approaching, we wanted to take the time and spotlight a past conference honoree to give an insight into the current state and outlook of a two-time MED Week award winning firm.

2011 METCON AwardMetcon, Inc. is a general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in Pembroke, NC with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Columbia, SC. Metcon is certified by the North Carolina Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses as an American Indian-owned general construction business. Founded in 1999, Metcon received the National Minority Construction Firm of the Year award in 2011 and 2013. Below is our interview with Aaron Thomas, the president of Metcon Inc.

Chang: Congratulations on 15 years in business! What are some of the values that have allowed Metcon to grow rapidly into the successful business it is today?

Thomas: Our core values are on-time delivery, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, client satisfaction, quality, safety, and innovation. We have continued to live by these principles throughout our growth and hired individuals that also believe and operate in this fashion.

Chang: Speaking of success, Metcon has received a number of awards in the last few years including awards at MBDA’s MED Week. How has this recognition furthered Metcon’s brand image?

Thomas: Our recognition by MBDA as national minority construction firm of the year has been a huge thing for us.  It has enhanced our image and created dialogue for future opportunities.

Government Contracting and Certification – What It All Really Mean?

Blogged By: 
SBA.gov Community
Created on June 30, 2014
 

SpotlightOriginally posted at SBA.gov Community

“Government contracting.” “Small business certification.” You’ve heard the phrases before, but what do they really mean? And does it really matter for your small business? Maybe – and maybe not. Let’s cut through all the noise and define these phrases in a meaningful way for your entrepreneurial endeavors.

What is government contracting?

Government contracting is the process that lets you sell your goods or services to the government and its various agencies. The government has a contract, or agreement, with you whereby it purchases what you do or make. And U.S. government agencies buy a lot from small businesses – nearly $100 billion worth of goods and services each year! From market research to janitorial services, if you want to make the government your customer, there’s a good chance there’s a need for what you offer.

MBDA Explores Export Markets for Minority-Owned Firms in Agribusiness

Blogged By: 
Candace Shiver, Special Advisor to the National Director
Created on June 30, 2014
 

Candace Shiver, Special Advisor to the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency

Shiver and Corporate Council on Africa President Stephen HayesI recently participated in the 2014 Agribusiness and Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa from June 17-19. The forum, hosted by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association and the Corporate Council on Africa, brought together more than 500 business leaders, government officials, industry experts, students, and academia from more than 30 countries.

The forum’s presentations and discussions emphasized the importance of U.S. private sector involvement and investment in the critical agriculture and agribusiness sectors of the region. In sub-Saharan Africa, the industries are projected to collectively grow from $313 billion today to $1 trillion by the year 2030.1 Contributing to Africa’s food systems will help to build capacity in emerging markets, enhance food security, and promote U.S.–Africa relations through the imparting of best practices and technical and business knowledge between farmers and entrepreneurs of all sizes.

Next Generation Supply Chain Management

Blogged By: 
John Lloyd, MANTEC
Created on April 2, 2014
 

This article was originally posted on the PNC Business Insights e-news section. Guest blog post by John Lloyd, MANTEC

Every company, large or small, is dependent upon the companies that make up its supply chain. The term “supply chain” encompasses all of the entities on which a business depends to meet its customer expectations. These range from first-, second- and third-tier material sources to service providers to logistics and transportation specialists. Today’s forward-thinking companies have come to understand that their own performance hinges on the success of their supply chain relationships.

Historically, companies viewed their suppliers simply as the instruments to get them the parts they needed on time at the right price. Too often the customer/supplier relationship was very autocratic: Demands were made and it was expected that those demands would be met. In making sourcing decisions, companies traditionally did not look beyond a supplier’s capability, price and delivery. But those who stop there are missing a valuable opportunity to view suppliers strategically as a resource to add customer value and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Suppliers can be a source of critical information to improve product design, quality, performance and cost.

National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo Discusses the Importance of Minority Entrepreneurship

Blogged By: 
Leona Lam, MBDA Intern
Created on June 26, 2014
 

National Director Castillo and Ron BrownsteinOn June 24, Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), gave a keynote address at “The Next America: Making America Work,” an event hosted by the National Journal in Washington DC. The event was designed to discuss how the public and private sectors can promote minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship.

Speaking to the more than 200 attendees, Castillo reminded them that MBDA was celebrating its 45th year anniversary, but that the Agency’s goal was to think about the role it will play in helping minority-owned businesses during the next 45 years.

“Minority-owned businesses see opportunity where others do not,” she said.  “As we move forward, MBDA will continue helping our clients with both domestic and global business opportunities; we will continue helping them become procurement-ready and we will focus on helping them develop a succession plan for their future.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a minority business owner and member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, also gave keynote remarks at the event. Additionally, there were two expert panels that explored minority workforce development and financial empowerment, and how to create opportunities for minority small businesses. Al Jazeera America Host Ray Suarez, Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ronald BrownsteinNational Journal Correspondent Janell Ross, and National Journal Correspondent and Director of the Next Economy Project Amy Sullivan moderated the discussions.

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