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Spotlight on Commerce: Joann J. Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency

Blogged By: 
Joann J. Hill, Chief, MBDA Office of Business Development
Created on February 25, 2015
 

Joann J. HillI am a native of Columbia, South Carolina and a graduate of Benedict College with a BS in Business Administration. I also received a Masters of Business Administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. After college, I began my career with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2000, I joined the MBDA Atlanta Regional Office and have been with the Department of Commerce for 14 years.  I began my career with MBDA as a Business Development Specialist and was eventually promoted to Chief of Business Development for the Southeastern Region. My next promotion relocated me to the MBDA National Headquarters in Washington, DC in 2012 where I currently serve as Chief of the Office of Business Development. In this capacity I oversee the Office of Business Development and serve as the lead federal program officer for the nationwide network of MBDA’s 44 Business Centers.

I lead the effort within the agency to promote economic opportunities that expand the growth and competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs) across America. I am responsible for the creation and implementation of strategies for business development in the areas of: access to capital, access to contracts; access to emerging domestic and international markets and global supply chains.  We also actively engage strategic stakeholders like national chambers of commerce and trade associations in collaboration on policy and programs. 

For three consecutive years, I have served as Conference Director for the National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference, the nation’s largest federally sponsored conference on minority business enterprise. This conference is held annually in Washington, D.C. and attracts over 1,000 attendees. Traditionally, we have hosted officials from the White House, including the Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce, Cabinet Secretaries and a host of CEOs from MBEs and Fortune 500 firms.

Government Agencies, Historical Black College University Join Forces in Future of Business, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship Event

Blogged By: 
Alberto Betancourt, MBDA Press Secretary
Created on February 23, 2015
 

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Coppin State University (CSU), joined forces to celebrate Black History Month with “The Future of Business, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship” event held Feb. 12 in Baltimore.

The event, held at CSU, a Historical Black College and University (HBCU), offered a range of activities and speakers focused on entrepreneurship, business and innovation. There was also a student networking fair where regional minority business owners and federal agencies presented internship opportunities.

“It gives me great pleasure to participate in a Black History Month program at an HBCU, for I’m a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University,” said Kimberly R. Marcus, MBDA’s Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Education and Intergovernmental Affairs, and who served as the Masters of Ceremony for the event.

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 18, 2015
 

InnovateHER is a cross-cutting women's business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.

Did you knowWe know that our workforce looks very different from 50 years ago. Women now make up nearly half of the labor force and play a critical role in our nation’s economic prosperity. Most children live in households where all parents work. And as our population ages, families are increasingly caring for aging parents while balancing the needs of work and home. As demands on women and families grow, the need for products and services that address unique challenges increases. This Challenge will provide that platform.

Challenge Criteria

InnovateHER provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase products or services that have a measurable impact on the lives of women and families (30%), have the potential for commercialization (40%), and fill a need in the marketplace (30%).

Participants must be at least 18 years of age, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and meet other requirements as defined in the Competition Rules

How to Participate

InnovateHER’s first round goes live March 1st. Throughout the month of March, universities, accelerators, resource partners and other organizations will host local competitions. A month after going live, each host will select and submit one local winner to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who will then identify no more than 10 finalists. Finalists will make a live pitch to a panel of expert judges during National Small Business Week, May 4 – 8, 2015, in Washington, D.C. where they will compete for top three awards and prize money totaling $30,000.

Updated IRS Smartphone App IRS2Go Version 5.0 Now Available

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 17, 2015
 

IRS2GOThe Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of IRS2Go 5.0, an update to the only official IRS smartphone application, compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

Download IRS2Go free of charge for Android devices from the Google Play Store or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices. Use it to check your refund status, watch the IRS YouTube channel, find free tax preparation help, get IRS news as soon as it's released, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.

 “The new version of IRS2Go provides taxpayers another way to quickly get information and help around the clock,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is focused on providing taxpayers with convenient self-service tools like IRS2Go, but it’s important to remind taxpayers to only use official IRS products to safeguard their personal information.”

National Road Tour Promotes Innovation and Technology

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on February 17, 2015
 

SBIR Road TourThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch an 18 state road tour, joined by 11 fellow federal agencies in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR Road Tour “Seeding America’s Future Innovations,” is a nationally focused outreach initiative targeting advanced technology communities, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses in states that have underutilized funding opportunities through these programs. Today, the agency is launching information on the tour through www.sbir.gov and will also launch a blog that will be active up through the end of the tour in late August.

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