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  • Submitted on 29 April 2015

    Created on April 29, 2015
     

    National Small Business WeekIn honor of National Small Business Week 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency is teaming up with NerdWallet to host a Google Hangout on how minority-owned businesses can start and grow their companies.

    The online discussion will feature Carmen West and Nick Perkins, of MBDA’s Access to Capital team, and Cindy Yang, NerdWallet’s small business expert. During the discussion, the panelists will address how the MBDA helps minority-owned businesses expand, and Yang will discuss NerdWallet’s resources for small businesses just starting out.

    “MBDA’s Access to Capital team seeks to align with organizations that speak to America’s business owners and minority communities,” says Efrain Gonzalez, Associate Director, Office of Business Development. “MBDA is pleased to participate in this Google Hangout to share and discuss how our 44 business centers across the country provide capital resources that complement the services of NerdWallet and other organizations that provide resources to small businesses.”

    The Google Hangout will be broadcast live on NerdWallet’s Youtube channel. During the second half of the webinar, Perkins, West, and Yang will take questions from the audience through Twitter. Tweet questions using the hashtag #DreamSmallBiz to either @NerdWallet or @USMBDA.  

  • Submitted on 16 April 2015

    Created on April 16, 2015
     

    Financial LiteracyApril is National Financial Capability Month!

    According to the findings of a 2014 Intuit study, more than 40 percent of U.S. small businesses consider themselves financially illiterate. Yet, 81 percent handle their business’ finances. April is National Financial Capability Month, so now is a great time for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to brush up on their financial literacy skills.

    Whether you are a seasoned small business owner, a new small business owner or have dreams to be a future small business owner, it is inevitable that you will at some point have to deal with securing the capital to fund and/or expand your business venture.

    There are several financing options to explore when funding a small business such as loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors and crowd funding, but most small businesses rely on lenders to obtain the capital needed to open a business or to finance capital improvements.

  • Submitted on 14 April 2015

    Created on April 14, 2015
     

    Export StrategyAshley Zuelke is the Senior Advisor for Export Policy, Promotion and Strategy at the International Trade Administration.

    Julia McNerney is the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary at the International Trade Administration.

    Last week, the International Trade Administration (ITA) held the first event in the Startup Global Pilot program at 1776, a local business incubator in Washington, D.C. Startup Global, which Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker launched in February, was designed to help more startup firms think global from the earliest stages of a company’s growth. One of four in a series of pilot program educational events, the  1776 event welcomed 25 startups and experienced startup exporters. The participants all agreed that the theme of Thursday’s event is clear: start planning for international success on day one. The theme is important because:

  • Submitted on 03 March 2015

    Created on March 3, 2015
     

    Summit Comment on Small Business Mentor Protege Program;The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently published a proposed rule to amend its regulations to establish a government-wide Mentor-Protégé Program for all small businesses as directed by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA). As directed by the statute, the proposed small business mentor-protégé program is modeled on SBA’s existing 8(a) Business Development mentor-protégé program.

    The expansion of the program will increase opportunities for small businesses to enter the federal marketplace as well as to pursue larger and more complex requirements. The mentor protégé program is designed to pair up nascent firms that are facing potential development gaps with larger, more experienced firms that can assist in filling those gaps.

    Mentors typically provide support in areas such as managerial experience, past performance qualifications, project implementation know-how and the ability to manage larger and complex contracts.

  • Submitted on 23 December 2014

    Created on December 23, 2014
     

    By Marie R. Gill, Operator and Executive Director of the MBDA Business Center in Miami and Josh Dickson, Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the US Department of Commerce

    Business SundayEarlier this month, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Miami hosted its first Business Sunday at Samaritan Christian Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida, in partnership with the Miami District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Hallandale Parks and Recreation Department, the Hallandale Beach Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA), Career Source South Florida, the City of Miami and ACCION USA. Business Sunday is a program focused on promoting local economic growth and job creation by connecting congregations and communities with the valuable business development resources offered by the Federal Government.  A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and BusinessUSA Business Sunday builds ladders of opportunity by meeting people where they are at and ensuring they have access to everything they need to start or grow their business.

  • Submitted on 17 December 2014

    Created on December 17, 2014
     

    Business PlanToo many people try to start a business without first developing a clear roadmap for the journey ahead, making success that much harder. Don’t be one of them! This month is National Write a Business Plan Month and we’re here to help you get started with six steps to writing a solid business plan.

    Looking for more help? Check out this step-by-step tool for writing a business plan.

    Also, MBDA’s Business Plan Writer is a free and easy tool that lets you to create your business plan online. Our business plan writer gives you tips along the way, allows you to create multiple versions or different plans for different concepts, and saves your work! When you are ready to print, just print your plan from the software and you are ready for the next step!

  • Submitted on 06 November 2014

    Created on November 6, 2014
     

    EntreprenuersFor more than four decades, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has led Federal Government efforts to provide focused support to minority businesses enterprises (MBEs), which are increasingly critical contributors to the U.S. economy.

    With an eco-system of 44 MBDA Business Centers located across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, the Agency’s national programs and initiatives provide increased access to contracts, capital and markets. Although the centers are strategically located in areas with the largest number of MBEs, there are no geographical boundaries for service delivery, which allows MBDA clients, regardless of their location, to seek services from any MBDA Business Center.

  • Submitted on 18 September 2014

    Created on September 18, 2014
     

    Habla EspanolYoung entrepreneurs have a new tool to help determine if they’re ready for business ownership and to help them get started. Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business (Jóvenes Emprendedores) is a free, self-paced online course in Spanish that gives an overview of basic business principles and introduces resources available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

     “This month, the SBA recognizes the vital contributions Hispanic American small business owners have made to our economy as we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator.  “As a proud Hispanic American, I believe that providing financial, educational and technical assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs is a major means to create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The new course is an essential business development tool for young entrepreneurs that can be central to the future success for many generations to come.”

    The Young Entrepreneurs course is designed to help with the essentials of starting a small business, including evaluating business ideas, choosing the best financing options and registering a business.  The course also includes useful resources that will help with each step along the path to entrepreneurial success.

  • Submitted on 23 June 2014

    Created on June 23, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on the SBA.

    Dale Van Eckhout, Senior Area Manager, Bismarck Area Office - North Dakota District Office

    FranchiseMany people associate fast food businesses with franchising. In fact, there are over 120 different types of franchise businesses and hundreds of thousands of franchises available in the United States, including automotive, cleaning & maintenance, health & fitness, and pet-related franchises - just to name a few.

    Franchising is the practice of selling the right to use a firm's successful business model. This involves two major players which are the franchisor who sells the business model, and the franchisee owning a direct stake in the business. The franchisor's success depends on the success of the franchisees.

    There are many benefits in buying a franchise including the following:

    • Saving time - the franchise company already has the business model in place so you can focus on running a successful business.

    • Company image and branding - the image and brand of the company is already established. Consumers are always more comfortable purchasing items from a familiar name or company they trust.

    • Training - the franchisor usually provides extensive training and support to the franchise owner.

  • Submitted on 22 January 2014

    Created on January 22, 2014
     

    CrowdFundingOn October 23, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

    Crowdfunding describes an evolving method of raising capital that has been used outside of the securities arena to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects ranging from innovative product ideas to artistic endeavors like movies or music.  Title III of the JOBS Act created an exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be easily used to offer and sell securities as well.  The JOBS Act also established the foundation for a regulatory structure for this funding method. 

    SEC Chair Mary Jo White noted that the intent of the JOBS Act is to make it easier for startups and small businesses to raise capital from a wide range of potential investors and provide additional investment opportunities for investors. 

 

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