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  • 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.

  • Submitted on 16 June 2014

    Created on June 16, 2014
     

    The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, along with the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, hosted the 8th Annual New Mexico Native American Economic Summit, May 20-22 in Albuquerque, N.M.

    The intent of the summit was to promote the development of a healthy, self-sufficient American Indian Economy, both on and off the reservation.  The mission was both simple and powerful:  “To help Native People achieve successful economic development initiatives while incorporating, strengthening and building upon tribal values,” said Ted Pedro, Director, Santa Fe MBDA Business Center.

    Pedro said the Summit was designed as the “place to meet” and introduce Native American businesses and its leaders in order to synergize and strategize with peers and new contacts.

  • Submitted on 12 June 2014

    Created on June 17, 2014
     

    National Director CastilloThe country's shifting demographics have huge implications for U.S. industry and the economy. By 2030 minorities are projected to provide all of the net growth of workers in the labor force. Experts say that increased public investment, skills training, and workforce development are crucial to improving the economy, expanding the middle class, and empowering the country's minority populations.

    In an era of slow financial growth and tight public budgets, American minorities have taken to entrepreneurship, innovation and service to create new jobs, build wealth, and provide critical social value for their communities. Minority businesses make up 15 percent of the country's small businesses today and employ 5.9 million workers.

    Join National Journal for the fourth Next America summit as they convene the nation's key opinion leaders for a robust discussion about minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship. They will explore questions such as: How can government grow the economy and improve the job market for all of its citizens? How can the public and private sectors best equip U.S. minorities with the skills they need for work? How do small businesses impact community growth? And what is the future of minority entrepreneurship?

    Event Details:

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    The Grand Hyatt Washington | 1000 H Street NW | Washington, DC

    RSVP to the attend or watch the event online.

  • Submitted on 11 June 2014

    Created on June 11, 2014
     

    The largest federally sponsored event on minority enterprise development. Visit medweek.mbda.gov.

    Early this month MBDA hosted a public meeting on the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference.

    » Replay Public Meeting

  • Submitted on 06 June 2014

    Created on June 6, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on the White House AAPI Blog.

    Bill Imada is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

    More than 1.5 million businesses in the United States are owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. These firms account for $508.6 billion in spending power nationwide and have resulted in the creation of more than 2.8 million jobs. A vast majority of these companies are small and are fueled almost exclusively on creatively, ingenuity, business innovation and an unparalleled level of entrepreneurial spirit that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

    They include a robotics company designed to entice young people to consider careers in science, technology and engineering; a brick and mortar Boba tea shop that will introduce new flavors and customer enhancements to widen its appeal; a fashion design company that draws inspiration from the cultural diversity of America; and, a shoe designer who incorporates recycled and repurposed paper to create an environmentally friendly consumer product.

    On May 5, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by holding a roundtable discussion to address some of the key issues facing business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

  • Submitted on 20 May 2014

    Created on May 20, 2014
     

    Joann Hill Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs hosted their 5th Annual MBE University Conference and Expo at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore on May 20.

    The event was a unique forum, combining educational workshops with business development and networking opportunities that meet the unique needs of small, minority and women-owned businesses.

    “The workshops, exhibitors and matchmakers who participated in this conference were all chosen with the intent of adding great value to our small, minority and women-owned entrepreneurs,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.

    Several federal government representatives addressed more than 200 attendees during the opening session. The speakers included Congressman Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, Sharon R. Pinder, Director, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development, and Joann Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency.

    “Each minority business enterprise attending today’s conference represents job creation and economic growth,” said Hill. “Through your businesses, each of you keeps your community, city and state thriving and moving forward economically. That is an invaluable contribution and is to be applauded.”

    After the opening session, the crowd dispersed into one of the three designated areas that included workshops, exposition hall and the matchmaking seminar.

  • Submitted on 14 May 2014

    Created on May 14, 2014
     

    In March, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) celebrated its 45th anniversary. And as the Agency begins planning for the next 45 years, it will do so missing a key team player.

    Venice Pamela Harris was 17-years old when she started working with the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1972. She was still in high school when she applied and was accepted into the Junior Technician Program, a federal program managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was geared for high school students who didn’t plan on going to college. Little did she know that entering that program would lead to a memorable and rewarding 42-year federal service career.

    “In high school, my curriculum was geared towards business. I had a lot of shorthand, typing classes,” she said. “What’s funny is that DEA also had a program where they recruited young high school ladies for entry-level secretarial positions. I also applied for their program, was accepted and offered a GS-3 position. It was a tough decision to make, but I decided to go with the Department of Commerce’s GS-1 position working with the Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of Personnel.”

    Harris thanks Mrs. Ruffin, her high school business teacher, for helping her make that decision—the one she said was “the right decision.”

  • Submitted on 14 May 2014

    Created on April 2, 2014
     

    AAPI Business RoundtableSince 1977, the month of May recognizes the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians to the American story. The legislation honoring the significance of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage was introduced by some of the finest Asian Americans in U.S. history: Congressman Norman Mineta, Senator Spark Matsunaga, and Senator Daniel Inouye.

    On May 5th, the White House Initiative for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage hosted a business roundtable at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where representatives from the Small Business Administration, International Trade Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), met with more than 50 AAPI business leaders from around the country.

  • Submitted on 12 May 2014

    Created on May 12, 2014
     

    AAPI Heritage Month

    During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and we reflect on the many ways they have enriched our Nation. Asian American and Pacific Islander entrepreneurs and businesses play a vital role in economic growth, job creation, and community revitalization.

    This May, the theme for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is “I Am Beyond.” The phrase captures the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America. This year we want to amplify the AAPI voice and highlight the valuable impact the community has made as we go into the 37th year of this celebration of culture. Share your unique story using #IAMBEYOND on social media.

  • Submitted on 17 April 2014

    Created on April 17, 2014
     

    Intellectual PropertyDuring the month of April, MBDA will collaborate with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to conduct a three part webinar series on the intellectual property process.

    The webinar series will focus on the three types of intellectual property protection: copyrights, patents, and trademarks. The complimentary webinars will provide a wealth of information, resources, and tools to protect and promote your intellectual property.

    Register today to learn from USPTO intellectual property experts on best practices, common pitfalls and where to start!   

    April 22 - Copyrights: An introduction to copyrights, how copyrights are protected in the U.S. and abroad, and the benefits of U.S. registration.
    Register at http://go.usa.gov/kc4Q

    April 23 - Patents: The facts about patents, including the differences between provisional and non-provisional applications and tips on making the application process more efficient.
    Register at http://go.usa.gov/kcgA

    April 24 - Trademarks: Understand the critical factors when choosing a trademark, the importance of doing a complete search, and whether an attorney should be used.
    Register at http://go.usa.gov/kcgT

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Number of jobs created as a result of services provided by MBDA business centers during the last 5 fiscal years.
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