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  • Submitted on 25 February 2013

    Created on February 25, 2013
     

    “So let us honor those who came before by striving toward their example, and let us follow in their footsteps toward the better future that is ours to claim.”

     President Barack Obama, 2013 National African American History Month Proclamation

    As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice.  His hopes to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925.  The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial.  By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story.

  • Submitted on 29 January 2013

    While most of the work the MBDA Business Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico  does is conducted in Spanish, that is where the differences between it and the 40 other MBDA Business Centers across the country end. Just like the other MBDA Business Centers throughout the nation, the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center works diligently to secure contracts for its clients and build wealth for its community. It also guides clients in putting together business strategies that will attract financing.

    One recent example that stands out involved a business owner looking to open a jewelry store in the island’s biggest shopping mall. Confident that the endeavor would be a huge success, after being turned away by bank after bank, the owner contacted the MBDA Business Center.

  • Submitted on 21 December 2012

    Created on December 21, 2012
     

    MBDA’s National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week has by tradition set the standard as the premier event for minority entrepreneurs, business owners, and advocates. On December 5-6, the 30th anniversary milestone event officially joined the ranks as one of the most successful MED Week’s in the history of the conference.

    This year’s event was attended by nearly 1,300 individuals representing a broad range of industries from across the globe. In the State of Commerce Address, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank opened the conference with inspirational remarks on the growth of the economy and highlighted the crucial role that minority-owned businesses play in exporting and job creation. Acting Secretary Blank’s address embodied the theme of this year’s conference, Job Creation in America: Build it Here – Sell it Everywhere!, and set the tone for the conference agenda, which included an International Business-to-Business Linkage networking reception attended by the Brazilian Ambassador to the United States, a partnership announcement between MBDA and the Export-Import Bank that launched the “Global Outreach Alliance,” and numerous seminars and workshops focused on the global supply chain and emerging markets.

  • Submitted on 29 November 2012

    Created on November 29, 2012
     

    The Minority Business Development Agency pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans as we approach the final days of Native American Heritage Month.  According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, “What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.”

  • Submitted on 29 November 2012

    Created on November 29, 2012
     

    For decades, MBDA has supported expanded trade through minority-owned and operated businesses recognizing that minority-owned firms have the most favorable export attributes of any sector of the U.S. economy. In 2011 MBDA began the formal process of institutionalizing efforts to aid minority-owned businesses globally. With President Obama’s launch of the National Export Initiative, the focus on minority exporters and their ability to support domestic job growth has taken on added importance.

  • Submitted on 01 October 2012

    Created on October 1, 2012
     

    White House Business Council Forum on Business in Indian CountryPresident Obama created the White House Business Council to hear directly from business owners about what the Administration can do more of – or less of – to help create jobs; and to ensure that businesses are aware of the programs and resources that can help their companies grow. That’s exactly what occurred last week at the White House Business Council Forum on Business in Indian Country. The Forum brought Native American and Alaska Native business owners together with non-profit Indian Country support organizations to discuss ideas that can lead to job creation and economic expansion. We were proud to have the participation of Acting Secretary of Commerce, Dr. Rebecca Blank, who listened and responded candidly to a number of concerns, suggestions and feedback.

    Overall, the day’s dialogue centered around three core challenges—preparing and retaining future leaders and entrepreneurs; raising capital for emerging businesses; and finding domestic and international markets for tribal commodities such as natural resources and agricultural products.

  • Submitted on 25 September 2012

    Created on September 25, 2012
     

    Beginning on September 19 through the 22nd, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) hosted the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) in Washington, D.C. The conference, with the theme of Inspiring Leaders/Building Generations, brought together leaders of industry, policy, education, and the population at-large to discuss issues of importance to the African American community.

    Marcus on panel discussion at CBCFThe Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) was proud to participate in two discussions during ALC focused on empowering African American communities through economic opportunities both at home and abroad. On Day two of the conference, Kimberly Marcus, Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Education, and Intergovernmental Affairs, participated in a panel hosted by Mid-Tier Advocacy examining challenges faced by small and emerging businesses in federal contracting. Marcus spoke to the resources provided by MBDA specifically the recently launched Federal Procurement Center as well as online tools such as the Phoenix-Opportunity Database. She was joined on the panel by Bridget Bean of the Small Business Administration, Ben Gaither of IBM, and Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04).

  • Submitted on 20 September 2012

    Created on September 20, 2012
     

    Each year, from September 15 to October 15, the United States observes Hispanic Heritage Month. During this time we celebrate the rich histories, contributions, and cultures of those Americans with ancestry traced back to Latin America and Spain. From the trailblazers of politics and justice such as Romualdo Pacheco and Sonia Sotomayor to advances in science and medicine made by Luis Walter Alvarez and Antonia Novello, we take this time to reflect on the history and future. A major economic contribution of the Hispanic American population is their entrepreneurial spirit and the success of Hispanic-owned businesses.

    Minority-owned firms have historically been a significant part of our nation’s economy. They have been a model for growth and development throughout the decades, even in the most financially difficult times. Hispanic-owned firms in particular have served as a cornerstone for economic development and U.S. prosperity. According to 2007 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau (the most recent data available), these firms generated $351 billion in economic output towards the U.S. economy, along with creating 1.9 million jobs. Their prospects for job growth are ever-increasing, with trend analysis showing that Hispanic-owned firms outpace the growth of non-minority-owned firms, in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms between 2002 and 2007.

  • Submitted on 24 August 2012

    Director Hinson addressed a special business roundtable held in conjunction with the two-day technical meeting of the U.S. - Brazil Joint Action Plan in Brasilia, Brazil.  Hinson provided an overview of the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) long history of helping minority-owned businesses become more competitive through greater access to contracts, capital, and markets.  

    The discussion included over 50 Afro-Brazilian businesses, public officials, and representatives from trade groups. The purpose of the roundtable was to engage segments of the Brazilian population, who have been historically excluded from the types of sustainable economic development that promotes growth and financial security.

  • Submitted on 23 August 2012

    BrazilOn day three of National Director David Hinson’s five-day U.S. interagency trip to Brazil, he met with a group of prominent Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs from Bahia, which has one of the largest Afro-Brazilian populations in the country. Dialogue between Hinson and Afro-Brazilian business owners centered on the many challenges they face. In addition to their biggest obstacle—the ability to obtain the capital financing required for their businesses to grow—they discussed a number of industries that offer the most promise for them, citing automobiles, tourism, construction, cosmetics, and mining.

    One member of this group was Ms. Ana Matos, who managed to build a successful cosmetics manufacturing plant in Salvador, one of the nine municipalities in the northern region. In spite of the many obstacles and challenges common to Afro-Brazilians, Ms. Matos’s company, GenteBonita, is worth $3 million.

    David Hinson is National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. He is currently in Brazil as a member of a Federal interagency delegation on the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial Inequality.

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients obtain capital totaling $4.76 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
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