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Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR): How it Works and How to Qualify

Blogged By: 
SBA
Created on August 5, 2014
 

Originally posted on the SBA.gov Blog

InnovateSmall businesses are the key to advancing America’s economy by bringing cutting-edge, high-impact technologies to the marketplace that improve health care, strengthen our military and protect the environment. However, small businesses often have difficulty competing with larger technology companies due to lack of capital for research and development (R&D) work that is critical for moving products from the planning to deployment stages. 

To help entrepreneurs successfully commercialize their products and services, the federal government established the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, commonly known as SBIR. Eleven federal agencies including the departments of Health and Human Services, Defense and Energy participate in SBIR, which provide small businesses competitive funding for projects that meet government research needs and boost technological innovation in the public and private sectors. The Small Business Administration doesn’t directly administer the SBIR funding awards, but it oversees and manages the SBIR program by coordinating with other agencies, reviewing progress and reporting to Congress.

A New Strategy to “Drive” Small Business Growth

Blogged By: 
John Spears, SBA Official
Created on August 5, 2014
 

Supply Chain

Originally posted on the SBA.gov Blog

Three years ago, entrepreneur Maurice Brewster made one of the best business decisions of his life: He signed his limousine company, Mosaic Transportation, up for IBM’s Supplier Connection – a collaboration between small businesses and the supply chains of Fortune 500 corporations

It was a wise decision because small firms that enter the supply chains of major corporations grow their revenue by an average of 250 percent and their workforce by an average of 150 percent.

In three years, Maurice has signed contracts with seven major corporations, grown Mosaic from 20 to 46 employees, and tripled his annual revenues. His company had lost half of its business during the Recession, but now it is reaping record profits. Maurice credits this remarkable turnaround to two things: he joined a corporate supply chain, and all seven of his new clients pay him up front with a corporate credit card.

myRA: A Simple, Safe, Affordable Retirement Savings Account

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on July 24, 2014
 

ReadySaveGrow myRAThe U.S. Department of the Treasury will develop the myRASM (“My Retirement Account”) program, offering a new retirement savings account for individuals looking for a simple, safe, and affordable way to start saving. Savers will be able to open an account with as little as $25 and contribute $5 or more every payday. myRA balances will never go down, and there will be no fees. Initially, myRA will be made available through employers and the investment held in the account will be backed by the U.S. Treasury.

WHO WILL myRA BE FOR?

myRA will be Roth IRA accounts available to anyone who has an annual income of less than $129,000 a year for individuals and $191,000 for couples. myRA will be for savers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. myRA is designed for savers who want an investment with a low opening amount.

HOW WILL myRA WORK?

The myRA investment will earn interest at the same variable rate as the Government Securities Investment Fund in the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. Savers may voluntarily roll over myRA to private-sector retirement accounts at any time. Once a saver’s myRA reaches $15,000, or after 30 years, the balance will be transferred to a private-sector retirement account. Treasury will finalize transfer procedures when it launches the myRA program later this year.

U.S. Department of Commerce & Bloomberg Philanthropies Host Inaugural "U.S.-Africa Business Forum"

Blogged By: 
Commerce Blog
Created on July 24, 2014
 

The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Michael R. Bloomberg to host
President Obama to be keynote speaker

U.S.-Africa Business ForumOn August 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will be part of President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the first summit of its kind, and the largest event that any U.S. president has ever convened with African heads of state or government.

As President Obama said in Tanzania last summer, “in our global economy, our fortunes are linked like never before. So more growth and opportunity in Africa can mean more growth and opportunity in the United States.  And this is not charity; this is self-interest. And that’s why a key element of my engagement with Africa, and a key focus during this trip, has been to promote trade and investment that can create jobs on both side of the Atlantic.”

Held at the Mandarin Oriental, in Washington, D.C., the U.S.-Africa Business Forum will intensify efforts to strengthen trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa. The Forum will focus on U.S. private sector engagement in Africa in the areas of finance and capital investment, infrastructure, power and energy, agriculture, consumer goods, and information communication technology. Heads of state will engage with business executives from both sides of the Atlantic to engage in conversations about successes and solutions to build greater access for trade and investment in Africa. President Obama will participate in the conversation with CEOs and government leaders from the U.S. and Africa.

MBDA Director Speaks at Miami’s International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show

Blogged By: 
Justin Chang, MBDA Intern
Created on July 23, 2014
 

 

National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo at  International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show

Pictured left to right: Ron Busby, President. U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce; Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director; Andy Ingraham, President National Association of Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers; and Toya Powell, VP U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce

 

On Friday July 18th, National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo spoke at the International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show at the invitation of National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD). As director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – the only federal agency tasked with building the size, scale, and capacity of minority businesses – Castillo was able to offer particular insight into the theme of this year’s conference, which was the “Business of Multicultural & Heritage Tourism.” Castillo highlighted the strong alignment of interests between MBDA and the success of minority-owned businesses in the tourism industry.

She also indicated how MBDA, through its resources, can offer particular support to this business community by working to increase their access to capital financing. In addition, the conference was a learning opportunity for MBDA as it allowed Castillo and her staff to learn more about this $90 billion market sector, and the particular challenges minority-owned businesses face working in this industry.

Did you know...

The percentage of clients with annual revenues in excess of $500,000 increased over the last five fiscal years.
Graph for MBDA Client Portfolio made up by SGI Clients

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