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  • Submitted on 15 August 2014

    Created on August 15, 2014
     

    MBDA National Director Alejandra Castillo at the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (CHCC) Latinas Hall of Fame LuncheonYesterday, MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo concluded her week-long tour of California where she spoke to local businesses and community leaders about the Obama Administration’s work to spur continued economic growth and job creation through support of exporters, entrepreneurs, and small, women- and minority-owned businesses. 

    Earlier this week, Castillo joined U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in Oakland where the Secretary delivered remarks highlighting a number of Commerce Department resources available to help foster economic growth among minority-owned businesses. The Secretary also discussed the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda,”a bold policy agenda focused on boosting trade and investment, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and unleashing more government data.

    Following the Secretary’s remarks in Oakland, Castillo led a panel discussion on economic development that helped to connect local business leaders and economic development organizations with the expertise of the Department and its resources. The forum featured Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s (OPIC) Director of Corporate Development, Alison Germak; Port of Oakland’s Director of Aviation, Deborah Ale Flint; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

  • Submitted on 13 August 2014

    Created on August 14, 2014
     

    The Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses; and most of our work is accomplished through our nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers and their work directly with the nation’s MBEs. While, we often report their successes in terms of contracts and capital obtained for MBEs, we rarely talk about how they do it. With this business center profile we hope to give you an inside look at one of our 44 Centers—the Phoenix MBDA Business Center. 

    AZ MBDA Business Center FY 2013 PerformanceBringing in $587 million in contracts and capital for MBDA Business Center last year, the Phoenix MBDA Business Center is one of the highest performing in the country. Their assistance helped clients to create 1,447 new jobs and save 552 more in FY 2013. Led by Executive Director Alika Kumar, the Center’s success can be attributed to the well-rounded team of four who, together, possess the experience and technical expertise to guide their diverse clientele to a level of growth that the MBEs did not foresee. One successful client, Fortis Networks, grew its annual revenue from $500,000 to over $26 million since becoming a client in 2009.

    Although most of the firms assisted by the Phoenix Center are in construction and related industries, its clientele also includes firms in architecture, air transport, trucking, engineering, forestry, and automobile manufac- turing. Regardless of the industry, companies needing financing and capital can count on the Phoenix MBDA Business Center, and David DeLeon, business development specialist, to provide expert financial consulting services. DeLeon was one of the first business center staff members to become certified by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) as a “delegated authority” who can approve loans up to $500,000. He also works with Ex-Im Bank on behalf of clients who need more than $500,000 in financing to sell their products abroad. DeLeon can be credited, in large part, for making Phoenix the highest performing MBDA Business Center for capital transactions, with a total of $520 million during FY 2013.

  • Submitted on 12 August 2014

    Created on August 12, 2014
     

    Representative Barbara Lee, Secretary Penny Pritzker, Clifton Burch, President at Empire Engineering & Construction, Inc. and MBDA National Director Alejandra CastilloLast year, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker unveiled the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda,” a bold policy agenda focused on boosting trade and investment, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and unleashing more government data. Yesterday, she took the Agenda on the road to California. Along with Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) National Director Alejandra Castillo, Secretary Pritzker spoke to local businesses and community leaders about the Obama Administration’s work to spur continued economic growth and job creation through support of exporters, entrepreneurs, and small, women- and minority-owned businesses.

    Secretary Pritzker joined Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), a strong advocate for minority economic development and trade policy, at a regional economic development forum at the Oakland Airport, hosted by Lee. The Secretary delivered remarks highlighting a number of Commerce Department resources available to help foster economic growth. Noting that exporting is an essential tool for economic development, she discussed the Commerce Department’s NEI/NEXT initiative, a data-based, customer-driven effort to help U.S. companies increase their exports to international markets. Secretary Pritzker also talked about the work of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help manufacturers boost productivity and growth, as well as investments by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help attract new industries and create jobs. Through these and other tools, the Commerce Department is helping businesses in California and across the country to grow and hire. 

  • Submitted on 06 August 2014

    Created on August 6, 2014
     

    Register NowThe Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will co-host the second of three complementary three part webinar series to help business owners understand the intellectual property process, starting on Wednesday, August 12.

    This webinar series will teach attendees how to electronically file a copyright, patent, and trademark application. Join us as we provide minority business owners and innovators with a wealth of information, resources, and tools to protect and promote their intellectual property. Get answers from USPTO and Copyright Office intellectual property experts Sylvester Simpkins, Craig Morris, and Jeffrey Wong.

    While there is no cost for the next USPTO-MBDA webinar, virtual space is limited, so you’ll want to register as soon as you can.

  • Submitted on 23 July 2014

    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.

  • Submitted on 22 July 2014

    Created on July 22, 2014
     

    MED WeekThe Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) signature event is right around the corner. The 2014 National MED Week Conference will be held July 31 to Aug. 1 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

    The yearly conference features opportunities for minority businesses to engage and connect with numerous subject-matter experts in the private and public sectors. One of the featured events during the conference is the MED Week Awards Luncheon.

    “This year’s MED Week awardees exemplify growth, diversity and transformation, and are true champions for the minority business community,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director. “We’re very proud of their tremendous achievements in helping grow the national economy through innovation, job and wealth creation.”

    In addition to this year’s 13 MED Week Award winners, MBDA will honor two individuals with a National Director’s Special Recognition and a Pioneer’s Recognition.

  • Submitted on 18 July 2014

    Created on July 18, 2014
     

    Connecting Business with Opportunity is the theme of the 2014 National MED Week Conference on July 31-August 1 in Washington D.C.  This year’s event introduces an all new B2B Best! matchmaker and expo that will engage, educate, and connect conference attendees. 

  • Submitted on 18 July 2014

    Created on July 18, 2014
     

    Event at Bridgeport MBDA Business Center on June 12Minority businesses learned valuable tips, like how to grow their businesses by connecting with the 95% of consumers who live outside the United States, at the Bridgeport MBDA Business Center on June 12.

  • Submitted on 02 July 2014

    Created on July 2, 2014
     

    With the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference fast approaching, we wanted to take the time and spotlight a past conference honoree to give an insight into the current state and outlook of a two-time MED Week award winning firm.

    2011 METCON AwardMetcon, Inc. is a general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in Pembroke, NC with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Columbia, SC. Metcon is certified by the North Carolina Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses as an American Indian-owned general construction business. Founded in 1999, Metcon received the National Minority Construction Firm of the Year award in 2011 and 2013. Below is our interview with Aaron Thomas, the president of Metcon Inc.

    Chang: Congratulations on 15 years in business! What are some of the values that have allowed Metcon to grow rapidly into the successful business it is today?

    Thomas: Our core values are on-time delivery, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, client satisfaction, quality, safety, and innovation. We have continued to live by these principles throughout our growth and hired individuals that also believe and operate in this fashion.

    Chang: Speaking of success, Metcon has received a number of awards in the last few years including awards at MBDA’s MED Week. How has this recognition furthered Metcon’s brand image?

    Thomas: Our recognition by MBDA as national minority construction firm of the year has been a huge thing for us.  It has enhanced our image and created dialogue for future opportunities.

  • Submitted on 26 June 2014

    Created on June 26, 2014
     

    National Director Castillo and Ron BrownsteinOn June 24, Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), gave a keynote address at “The Next America: Making America Work,” an event hosted by the National Journal in Washington DC. The event was designed to discuss how the public and private sectors can promote minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship.

    Speaking to the more than 200 attendees, Castillo reminded them that MBDA was celebrating its 45th year anniversary, but that the Agency’s goal was to think about the role it will play in helping minority-owned businesses during the next 45 years.

    “Minority-owned businesses see opportunity where others do not,” she said.  “As we move forward, MBDA will continue helping our clients with both domestic and global business opportunities; we will continue helping them become procurement-ready and we will focus on helping them develop a succession plan for their future.”

    Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a minority business owner and member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, also gave keynote remarks at the event. Additionally, there were two expert panels that explored minority workforce development and financial empowerment, and how to create opportunities for minority small businesses. Al Jazeera America Host Ray Suarez, Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ronald BrownsteinNational Journal Correspondent Janell Ross, and National Journal Correspondent and Director of the Next Economy Project Amy Sullivan moderated the discussions.

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients obtain capital totaling $4.76 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Capital

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