MBDA Hosts Women’s Business Roundtable
Created on April 8, 2014
Women leaders from the African American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American business communities showcased their expertise and entrepreneurial achievements during the “Power and Promise of the Minority Women in Business” roundtable discussion in Washington, DC, hosted by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) on March 31.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the event attracted a diverse group of more than 25 women business leaders that included federal officials, researchers, entrepreneurs and high-level executives, who represented organizations on the forefront of helping women, transform economies and communities. Maria Cardona, Principal at the Dewey Square Group and CNN and CNN en Español Political Contributor, served as the moderator and helped guide the discussion on “what’s next for women business owners.”
“Today, women-owned businesses are the backbone to the U.S. economy,” said Alejandra Castillo, MBDA, Acting National Director. “MBDA strives to support the new generation of women entrepreneurs to ensure they understand that women have the potential to change how America does business.”
One of the key topics discussed during the roundtable was strategies designed to drive the future of minority-women entrepreneurship, as well as addressing the opportunities for access to capital, contracts and markets.
“This was an important conversation” said Tameka Montgomery, Associate Administrator, Office of the Entrepreneurial Development, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “I think MBDA and SBA have a great opportunity to come together and solve some of the challenges that minority-women business owners face. We both operate in the space of providing assistance to small businesses, but if we can link up strategically, we can have a greater impact.”
In consensus, the group agreed that a collaborated effort and education on where to get resources are vital to empowering the minority-women business community.
Anisa Balwani, CEO of RCI Technologies, Inc., a minority-woman business owner participating in the roundtable discussion, said the event and the discussion inspired her and strengthened her commitment to her business.
“It was important for me to be at the table as a minority-woman business owner,” Balwani said. “It’s comforting to know that MBDA is raising the voice of minority-woman business owners and will make a difference on how we succeed in the future.”