"Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country. And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs." President Barack Obama, January 31, 2011
As part of the White House’s Startup America initiative, senior Obama Administration officials will visit eight cities to meet with entrepreneurs and hear directly from them on ideas and suggestions for reducing barriers and regulations to build a more supportive environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.
In January, President Obama issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to identify and take steps to reduce regulations that are outdated or overly burdensome to entrepreneurs. This roundtable series builds on that directive and is part of the Administration’s overall Startup America efforts to support for startups and entrepreneurs with tools and resources to grow America’s economy and win the future.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal requests $32.3 million, a increase of $822,000, for MBDA to expand its services and assistance to our nation’s 5.8 million minority businesses. Currently, MBDA funds 46 minority business centers located in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These Centers receive partial funding to provide services to minority-owned firms through a grant program administered by MBDA. The modest increase requested in the FY 2012 budget proposal would allow MBDA to fund two additional minority business centers and push the Administration’s travel and tourism initiative in concert with Native American tribes. Read MBDA Press Release and President's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request.
Over the last decade, the number of minority-owned businesses has grown significantly faster than non-minority owned businesses and they are more likely to create jobs during an economic downturn and generate sales from exports. Minority-owned firms present a unique competitive advantage with the potential to have a tremendous impact to our national economy. To win the future for America and our communities, we must unleash the ambition and innovation of our entrepreneurs. MBDA supports the businesses who are leading us out of the recession and the Administration recognizes the results of its programs as one of the best ways to reduce our deficits and debt.
Since last July, MBDA and the U.S. Census Bureau have been releasing data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners describing details about the minority business community. So far we have produced fact sheets on all minority businesses, Hispanic businesses and this month, Black History Month, we release the African American business fact sheet .
The good news is that the number of African American-owned firms increased by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million firms. Employment at these firms also grew 22 percent from 754,000 to 921,000. The rate of employment growth is significantly higher than that of non-minority-owned firms which grew employment at a rate of less than one percent during the same time.
But the true economic potential of African American firms is not being unrealized. While gross receipts for all minority-owned firms are still well below the $490,000 average gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms in 2007, the average gross receipts for African American-owned firms actually fell 3 percent from $74,000 per firm to $72,000 between 2002 and 2007. The reasons for this discrepancy vary, but in essence it comes down to access to capital, access to contracts and access to new markets.
As I travel around the country, I am in awe of the tenacity and the indomitable spirit of minority business owners and their unwillingness to quit in the face of overwhelming odds. That’s the spirit that makes America great.
As the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), I am proud to be a part of this Administration and a part of an Agency where our work helps to expand the U.S. economy and create new jobs through the historically underutilized minority business community.
I have the privilege of serving on the senior staff of the Secretary of Commerce and serving as Bureau Chief of MBDA, as well as engaging with various stakeholders, members of Congress, minority-owned and operated businesses, and nonprofit organizations that support minority business development across the nation.
MBDA is a national organization with more than 46 business centers in five regions, which generates nearly $4 billion in contracts and capital for minority-owned businesses. We also create thousands of jobs for all Americans and help save thousands of existing jobs.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in concert with Deutsche Messe AG would like to invite you to join MBDA National Director David A. Hinson and business leaders from around the world at the Hannover Messe International Trade Fair, April 4–8, 2011. As part of MBDA’s ongoing mission to promote the tremendous capabilities of minority-owned firms and the promise of phenomenal growth through exporting and strategical alliances internationally, Director Hinson will be a featured speaker at the U.S. Global Business & Markets pavilion on Monday, April 4.