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  • Submitted on 04 November 2015

    Created on November 4, 2015

    VeteransDuring the third annual celebration of National Veterans Small Business Week Nov. 2-6, the Small Business Administration will host 30 Boots to Business: Reboot entrepreneurship training events nationwide.

    This coming year, the SBA will be able to present more than 100 Boots to Business: Reboot entrepreneurial training workshops.  The other big news is that for the first time, the program will be available to military veterans of all eras. This also includes service members (including members of the National Guard and reserve members) and their spouses.

    The Boots to Business: Reboot curriculum will introduce veterans to the fundamentals of business ownership, including evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan. Course participants will be introduced to their local SBA resource partners, consisting of Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE.

  • Submitted on 11 August 2015

    Created on August 11, 2015

    Business Owner with Open SignEntrepreneurs are the driving force of our 21st century economy. They have the power to spur innovation, create jobs, stabilize communities, and inspire the next generation of inventors.

    At the Department of Commerce, it is our goal to create the economic conditions that allow start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed. While we meet this goal through a wide variety of Department initiatives, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) focuses on accessing and engaging the talents and inventiveness of all our citizens through inclusive innovation efforts. Inclusive entrepreneurship and inclusive innovation means that every American, regardless of their background or past, has the opportunity to engage the marketplace and offer their goods, services, gifts, and talents to the world.

  • Submitted on 06 August 2015

    Created on August 6, 2015

    NIST Lab to MarketThe U.S. Department of Commerce has established a new partnership between the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) to support minority business development through our nation’s investment in research and development at more than 300 federal laboratories. 

    The Minority Business Enterprise Technology Transfer Innovation Consortium will support American innovation and global competitiveness by promoting high-technology opportunities to groups that have had historically low participation in this process. It was one of a number of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship announced as part of the first White House Demo Day, held August 4, 2015. 

    By fostering “lab-to-market” initiatives, the partnership aims to increase the number of minority businesses that engage in advanced technology transfer by creating strategic regional ecosystems that link the national science and technology enterprise with the MBDA centers that support minority businesses.

    “MBDA is very excited about this new partnership. It will ensure that minority-owned firms and students of color are truly engaged in the 21st century economy,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, national director at MBDA. “It will support diverse communities that need innovation resources to spur local job creation in various STEM industries.” 

  • Submitted on 30 June 2015

    Created on June 30, 2015

    ChartThis month, the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) introduced the Smaller Manager Pilot Program.  This exciting opportunity opens the door for emerging manager (EM) and other smaller firms to manage up to $250 million in U.S. core fixed Income federal pension funds.  EMs are generally defined as ethnic minority fund managers (or fund of fund managers) whose funds typically fall below $2 billion.  The new pilot program will allow EMs to compete in a request for proposal (RFP) that opened on June 15th and closes at the end of July.  The review process will identify up to five firms that will be granted fund management contracts for fixed Income portions of the PBGC funds sometime in mid to late 2016.

    Emerging manager funds often outperform larger non-diverse funds across studies by both public and private entities.1 By utilizing emerging managers, funds can potentially Increase and diversify investments into high-growth demographic sectors, while fostering innovation and healthy competition.

  • Submitted on 09 June 2015

    Created on June 9, 2015

    This post originally appeared on the

    2015 SBIR/STTR National Conference

    The 2015 SBIR/STTR National Conference is just around the corner – June 15 to 17 at the Gaylord Conference Center just outside of Washington, DC.

    Don’t miss the opportunity to interact with government SBIR/STTR program managers and staff, industry leaders, and veteran SBIR/STTR awardees. You’ll learn how to access SBIR/STTR, build partnerships, and create successful commercialization strategies. Opportunities include roundtable discussions, 1-on-1 meetings, and conference sessions. Click here to register for the conference.

    To prime attendees for the event, we are releasing a series of blogs to provide more in-depth information on some of the panel sessions. This edition features a session on growing and empowering novel STE(A)M innovation pipelines.

  • Submitted on 13 May 2015

    Created on May 13, 2015

    VisaThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are jointly issuing an interim final rule regarding program changes to the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire temporary non-agricultural guest workers.

    The rule includes a new employer registration process, increased recruitment and oversight, requirements for guaranteed pay, additional fees, and similar payment for corresponding U.S. workers. These agencies jointly issued this rule due to recent court decisions that found that DOL lacked authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to independently issue legislative rules governing the H-2B program.  

  • Submitted on 06 February 2015

    Created on February 6, 2015

    American Supplier Initiative with matchmaking eventsThe U.S. Small Business Administration will expand the American Supplier Initiative with matchmaking events that will be held throughout 2015.  The matchmaking events will help provide small businesses with the tools and resources needed to become effective suppliers and connect with federal and commercial supply chain opportunities.

    “The American Supplier Initiative is part of a comprehensive plan to create jobs through growing small businesses while also ensuring that America has a strong, deep and diverse supply chain,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “Becoming a corporate supplier can be a true catalyst for business growth, but accessing those supply chains can be challenging for small businesses.  The American Supplier Initiative exists to help our nation’s small businesses find their footing in these supply chains.”

  • Submitted on 13 January 2015

    Created on January 13, 2015

    LibertyIn November 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to fix our broken immigration system. As part of these actions, the President created a White House Task Force on New Americans.

    We are proud to serve as the co-chairs of this federal interagency Task Force, which will focus on the civic, economic and linguistic integration of new Americans and creating welcoming communities for all residents.

    As the President’s memorandum states:

  • Submitted on 23 December 2014

    Created on December 23, 2014

    By Marie R. Gill, Operator and Executive Director of the MBDA Business Center in Miami and Josh Dickson, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Department of Commerce

    Business SundayEarlier this month, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Miami hosted its first Business Sunday at Samaritan Christian Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in partnership with the Miami District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Hallandale Parks and Recreation Department, the Hallandale Beach Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA), Career Source South Florida, the City of Miami and ACCION USA. Business Sunday is a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the Federal Government.  A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and BusinessUSA Business Sunday builds ladders of opportunity by meeting people where they are at and ensuring they have access to everything they need to start or grow their business.

  • Submitted on 12 November 2014

    Created on November 12, 2014

    Tech TransferEarlier this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) hosted a special event for minority serving institutions to foster collaborations that could increase minority participation in scientific research and entrepreneurship. Representatives from large and small colleges and universities across the country gathered to learn about NIST’s national research priorities and about “lab-to-market” opportunities from both NIST and the MBDA.

    MBDA National Director Alejandra Castillo explained why the event was timely in her opening remarks when she said, “Wealth creation is happening in the high technology sector, but only four percent of those businesses are minority owned. Minority serving institutions are not only positioned to educate scientists and engineers, but to create partnerships for the businesses of tomorrow.”

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