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  • Submitted on 01 July 2016

    Created on July 1, 2016
     

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to sell your products or services to the federal government? Perhaps you've attended a workshop on doing business with the government at some point in the past. Maybe you even heard about the billions of dollars the U.S. Government spends every year buying goods and services from entrepreneurs just like you.

    At this week’s Essence Festival, MBDA is offering panels and technical assistance to help demystify this process.  At our Leap. Run. Grow slate of business development sessions, I’m eager to connect with emerging and established entrepreneurs. The panel I am moderating on July 1 is focused on government contracts, and it is titled, “Are You Ready to Do Business with the Federal Government?”

  • Submitted on 10 June 2016

    Created on June 10, 2016
     

    MBDA Associate Director for Business Development Takes Part in Follow-On Trade Mission to China

    Follow-On to “China Clean Technology – Business Development Mission” from April 2015 As he embarks on a trade mission to China, Efrain Gonzalez of the Minority Business Development Agency  (MBDA) looks forward to laying the groundwork for growing numbers of American companies to participate in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

    “It’s exciting to be a part of the effort to explore potential collaboration and partnerships in support of our minority business global business development effort in China,” said Gonzalez, Associate Director for Business Development at MBDA at the U.S. Commerce Department.

    “Our goal is supporting the Department of Commerce’s efforts to create a strong foundation for global business development in China, particularly in green energy sectors,” Gonzalez said.  “For the thousands of minority-owned businesses that MBDA serves, China represents a crucial international marketplace.”

  • Submitted on 06 June 2016

    Created on June 6, 2016
     

    MBDA Post Award ConferenceIt was a family reunion of sorts for nearly 50 Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center Operators and Project Directors who traveled from across the United States to attend the 2016 MBDA Post Awards Conference at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

    The conference is normally held every five years at the start of a new award cycle for the Agency’s funding competition, with the last conference being held in 2011.

    The attendees were all recipients of $31.5 million in federal funding awarded to 21 MBDA Business Centers across the United States and Puerto Rico back in April as part of the MBDA Business Center Program.

  • Submitted on 26 May 2016

    Created on May 26, 2016
     

    AAPI Welcome SignsHighlighting the critical nature of their role in America’s global economic position, the U.S. Commerce Department launched the first-ever Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Business Summit May 25.

    Co-hosted by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the Commerce Department, and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the day-long event drew more than 200 members of the AAPI business community, including entrepreneurs, policy makers, and business leaders. Speakers included Congressional representatives and Obama Administration officials who addressed a range of topics and policies focused on strengthening economic ties and creating growth opportunities.

    The Summit provided a broad overview of Obama Administration economic development priorities affecting AAPI business owners – one of the fastest-growing populations in the United States. The program centered on solutions for business owners seeking to scale up enterprises, including expanding to overseas markets, accessing capital, and entering high-growth industries such as technology and other STEM-based sectors.

    AAPI-Owned Enterprises: An Expanding Part of U.S. & Global Commerce

    Nearly 2 million businesses are owned by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide, employing 3.6 million workers, and generating nearly $700 billion in revenue annually, according to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.  In addition, Census Bureau research indicates that as the U.S. population becomes ‘majority minority’ by 2044, AAPI will represent a significant portion of America’s overall population.

  • Submitted on 17 May 2016

    watch the video

    Watch the DOC Talks

    Joann Hill, Chief of MBDA's Office of Business Development and Alika Kumar, Project Director of the Phoenix MBDA Business Center jointly participated in the Department of Commerce's first ever DOC Talks. Together, they gave a talk entitled "Minority Business Enterprise Parity for National Economic Prosperity."

  • Submitted on 29 March 2016

    Created on March 29, 2016
     

    From left to right: Darold Hamlin, President and CEO – Emerging Technology Consortium, Ivory Toldson, Ph.D., White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Department of Education, Diane J. Frasier, Director, Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management ( also Head of the Contracting Activity) – NIH, Alejandra Castillo, Esq., National Director, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and Lyn R. Williams, President and CEO – Bridge Enterprises Incorporated

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a symposium on The Path to Sustainability for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on March 9, 2016 in Rockville, Maryland. The theme of the symposium was "Teaming for Opportunities in Biomedical ‘Big’ Data." The National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, Alejandra Y. Castillo was on hand to deliver the keynote presentation. 

    Director Castillo spoke about the changing demographics of the country and the importance of minority business enterprises to the growth of the U.S. economy. She also discussed the new MBDA Inclusive Innovation Initiative (I3), saying, "minorities need to be at the front end of innovation." The Inclusive Innovation Initiative will do just that by facilitating engagement between MBEs, federal laboratories, and the innovation ecosystem. 

  • Submitted on 24 March 2016

    Created on March 25, 2016
     

    In the early morning of March 5, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon emerged from the private residence of The White House and received his daily schedule.  As usual, it was packed with ceremonial events and meetings concerning governance.

    Tucked between a 7am breakfast with NSA Assistant Director Henry Kissinger, and a lunch-hour meeting with Urban Affairs Assistant, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon had an event with a very long title:

  • Submitted on 15 March 2016

    Created on March 15, 2016
     

    It’s rare that the topics of education, democracy, entrepreneurship, and partnership with the federal government intersect in a single conversation, but that’s exactly what happened at Harvard University.

    Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, led the conversation before an audience of educators, students, and alumni at the Askwith Forum March 4 at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (GSE).

    The forum was part of the Graduate School of Education’s 14th annual Alumni of Color Conference (AOCC) March 3-5 at Harvard. The conference theme was “Educators as Architects: Building a Mosaic for Democracy Now.”

  • Submitted on 29 February 2016

    Created on February 29, 2016
     

    African-Americans currently make up less than three percent of the nation's technology workforce. Seeking to increase the number of African-American and other ethnic minority technology executives, engineers, and business owners, the second annual Black Tech Week was held earlier this month, featuring PowerMoves Miami, a nonprofit incubator and training organization. 

    Prior to the conference, PowerMoves Miami led a 6-week boot camp for 29 startup companies that focused on pitching to investors. The boot camp culminated with a Demo Day pitch competition. In addition to boot camp training and pitch competitions, the conference provided an opportunity for entrepreneurs of color to network and become part of the PowerMoves and Black Tech Week communities.

  • Submitted on 16 February 2016

    Created on February 16, 2016
     

    STEM 3D PrinterLong before the concept of STEM entered the American lexicon, African-American scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs were creating important products, services, and businesses that helped shape the American economy. From Benjamin Banneker, a mathematician and polymath in 18th Century Maryland, to Dr. Charles Drew, a 20th Century doctor and blood specialist who revolutionized the process of blood transfusions, our nation has prospered and developed as a global leader in science, economics, and business, thanks to the significant contributions of men and women of color.

    The stakes are high: America’s future success in the global arena depends on our ability to foster innovation within communities that historically have been under-served. As the world’s top scientists and engineers pave the way for new breakthroughs across emerging industries, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in science and technology discoveries. The Obama Administration has championed the 21st century STEM revolution.

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