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From the Director


  • Submitted on 17 May 2016

    Created on May 17, 2016
     

      THE CASE FOR INCLUSIVE INNOVATION: MINORITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE BY: ALEJANDRA CASTILLO, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY  “If our nation is to remain globally competitive, we must leverage and engage our diversity, especially our minority entrepreneurs.”

    Featured in the National Urban League 2016 State of Black America

    What images come to mind when you read the words “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”?

    If your primary points of reference are popular media or trade press, you might envision a fresh-faced 20-something-year-old on the leafy campus of a private university.

    But, as the daughter of a Dominican Republic-born entrepreneur who came of age in the Bronx, I have a different take on American economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.  As the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I can accurately report that African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans now represent the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. 

  • Submitted on 22 March 2016

    Created on March 22, 2016
     

    Wendell Kimbrough is the CEO of Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS), a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that designs, manages, and evaluates 15 education and social service programs, including support for child care centers.Do you have part-time or seasonal employees who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan? Now, there’s an easy way to help them start saving. myRA is a new retirement savings option developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It’s designed for workers who don’t have access to retirement savings plans at work, or who lack other options to save.

    How does this help your employees?

    myRA was developed to remove common barriers to saving and to provide a simple, safe, affordable way for people to start saving for retirement. It costs nothing to open an account, there are no fees, and myRA carries no risk of losing money.

  • Submitted on 08 March 2016

    Created on March 8, 2016
     

    MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. CastilloAs we celebrate Women’s History Month and the vast contributions that women have made to the strength and well-being of our nation, we are seeing the next chapters in this history being written as women take a bigger role in building our economy

    Women today make up nearly half of our workforce. Women-owned firms in the United States generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and employ millions of people.  

  • Submitted on 16 February 2016

    Created on February 16, 2016
     

    On January 12, 2016, President Barrack Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address to members of Congress. During his highly-anticipated annual address, President Obama spoke optimistically of America’s future and our progress in the areas of foreign policy, the economy, health care, social progress and his desire to transform America into the global leader in fighting climate change.

    As we spotlight the Nation’s successes over the past seven plus years of the Obama Administration, we must also closely examine the state of minority businesses. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2044, people of color will make up a majority of the U.S. population. The face of our nation is transforming and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. It is what will keep us at the forefront of technology, innovation and the global marketplace. Minority businesses are essential to the economic success of our nation.

    During his address, the President also posed several key questions. One in particular, is of special importance to us here at the Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency; “How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in the new economy?”

  • Submitted on 19 February 2014

    Created on February 19, 2014
     

    I am honored to serve as the Agency’s Acting National Director. In this capacity, I will continue to promote our Agency’s important mission and the stellar work of minority-owned businesses.

  • Submitted on 06 January 2014

    Created on January 7, 2014
     

    David Hinson, National Director Dear Friends,

    After four and a half years as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, I am leaving the Agency to return to the private sector on January 15, 2014. It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of you and to serve the American people under the leadership of President Obama and four Commerce Department secretaries, including Secretary Pritzker.

    During my tenure as National Director, we worked to help the U.S. economy rebound from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Like nearly every other federal agency, MBDA carried out its work under flat or reduced budgets, all while the demand for Agency services continued to increase. Despite these challenges, we experienced one of the most productive periods in Agency history. We increased funding for our national business center program for the first time in 15 years and we provided targeted support to our clients in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare technology, government contracting and exporting. We also increased bottom-line support for minority-owned firms by helping them get over $19 billion in capital and contract awards, resulting in the creation and/or retention of over 50,000 jobs.

  • Submitted on 10 December 2013

    Created on December 10, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National DirectorOne of the real joys of the holiday season is having the opportunity to say thank you. As the year ends and the Agency reflects on all the things we are grateful for, MBDA’s relationship with you, our stakeholders, is especially treasured. Your continued partnership throughout this year has greatly contributed to our success in increasing the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses.

    MBDA is proud to have reached a number of special milestones this year. In particular: we awarded $7.3 million in grants to boost job creation through the funding of seven new MBDA Business Centers; we made a supplemental investment of $625,000 to five existing MBDA Business Centers to better serve minority business communities nationwide; we launched a national webinar series that highlighted the resources of the government in support of international trade, federal contracting, and industry specific initiatives; and, we commemorated a 31-year history of celebrating minority-owned businesses and stakeholders during National Minority Enterprise Week, December 1-7, 2013, as designated by Presidential Proclamation.

  • Submitted on 04 November 2013

    As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month the Minority Business Development Agency would like to pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. While we take great pride in honoring their many accomplishments and contributions to American society, I want to highlight their contributions to the U.S. economy and the minority business community. Here are some quick facts about the Native American business community:

    • There are 236,000 Native American-owned firms in the U.S.

    • 10 percent have paid employees (average 8 per firm), and over $1.2 million in annual receipts.

    • This sector generates $34.4 billion in annual economic output.

    • Native American-owned firms employ 185,000 workers.

    MBDA continues to invest in Indian Country to support job creation and economic development through the operation of MBDA Business Centers in states with large American Indian populations. MBDA now has six centers addressing the unique economic challenges and opportunities in Indian Country. The centers are located in Alaska, California, Connecticut, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

  • Submitted on 12 September 2013

    Created on September 12, 2013
     

    David Hinson, National Director Last month the United States Government partnered with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to host the 2013 U.S.—Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in one of East Africa’s largest and most vibrant cities, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Senior U.S. Government officials and business leaders, along with their counterparts from African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)-eligible nations, discussed a range of trade and investment-related issues that are likely to have a significant impact on the future of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

    AGOA is the most important trade legislation between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa to date, and has paved the way for new product exports to the United States, including cut flowers, horticultural, automotive products, and steel. Textile, apparel goods and agricultural products, a promising area for new AGOA trade, were added in 2009.  Since being signed into law in 2000, AGOA has resulted in substantial growth of the African apparel industry, adding 350,000 new jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa, and about 100,000 jobs in the United States. 

  • Submitted on 28 August 2013

    Created on August 28, 2013
     

    Martin Luther King - March on WashingtonFifty years ago this week, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of the most consequential speeches in American history. Standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial before nearly a quarter million Americans from nearly every corner of the nation, Dr. King articulated his vision of a more just and equitable America, creating  a powerful weapon in his non-violent crusade for civil rights.

    His goal was simply stated, easy to understand and remarkably consistent with what he believed throughout his entire life.  He wanted social and economic justice for all.  In fact, he spoke about justice 11 times in his famous speech, exactly the same number of times he used the word “dream.”

    My office, the Minority Business Development Agency, is located directly across the street from the Willard Hotel where Dr. King prepared his notes and rested the night before he spoke.  When I look in that direction now, 50 years later, I wonder what might have been going through the minds of those who were there with him on the mall, or those who saw him live on television. Did they realize they were witnessing such an historic moment?

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