The fourth annual Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on November 14-16, 2010. The ACF brings together national leaders from the public and private sectors for high-level discussions on regional competitiveness and innovation, as it relates to business ventures, economic development and trade. This year’s theme for the ACF program is “Building a Prosperous and Sustainable Future for the Americas.”
The forum will primarily focus on green technologies, education and workforce development, entrepreneurship, small business development and trade facilitation. More than 1,000 leaders from the 34 nations of the Western Hemisphere will join Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, in sharing new ideas on how to improve business in a variety of industries.
Also joining Secretary Gary Locke at the ACF is David A. Hinson, national director and Alejandra Castillo, national deputy director for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Both leaders will leverage the event to promote business-to-business opportunities between U.S. minority-owned firms and small and medium sized enterprises outside the United States.
Bria Bailey with the Minority Business Development Agency discusses how to write a strong program narrative to include in your grant applications. A successful grant proposal is one that is well prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged.
Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the appointment of 25 members to the new National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprises. The advisory council will be led by the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and provide advice and recommendations to the department and the administration on a broad range of policy issues affecting the minority business community.
The new council is the first to focus on promoting minority businesses since around 1969, when President Nixon established MBDA – formerly the Office of Minority Business Enterprise – and an advisory council to oversee and advise the new office.
The minority business community is an engine of economic growth and job creation. Today, there are approximately 5.8 million minority-owned firms generating $1 trillion annually and employing nearly 6 million workers. Yet, there continues to be challenges within the minority business community. Of those 5.8 million firms, only 800,000 have more than one employee and the gap in average annual revenue between minority-owned and non-minority-owned firms is significant.
Personal and Professional Excellence
Eric Dobyne - Regional Director
Mr. Dobyne is recognized for leading the creation of the Minority Investment Management Forum. The Forum resulted in increased investments for minority assets managers in both public and private sector retirements funds. This program directly resulted in nearly $1 billion in procurement transactions for minority-owned firms. Due to this success, the Minority Investment Management Forum will be duplicated and expanded to include brokers and other financial services companies.
Don Chapman with the Minority Business Development Agency discusses the panel review process for MBDA Business Center grant applications.