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Making America More Competitive: Growing Minority-Owned Businesses

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September 2012
From the Director

National Director HinsonOver the past two decades, the world has been shifting into an innovation economy. Fortunately, as President Obama has said, “Nobody does innovation better than America.” It’s not just our first-rate colleges and universities, though they certainly are a big part of it. It’s the American workforce. According to the President, “Nobody has a greater diversity of talent and ingenuity. No one’s workers or entrepreneurs are more driven or more daring.”

Talent, ingenuity, tenacity and a willingness to take risks. These are the same strengths I see as I travel around the country meeting with minority business owners; strengths that match up with the demands of today’s global economy.

Why is innovation so important?  We know it’s the key driver of competitiveness, wage and job growth, and long-term economic growth. We also know that it was Federal government investments in research, education, and infrastructure that made our economy competitive in the past. It was government’s support that paved the way for private sector growth and laid the foundation for American global leadership.  » Read More

Director Hinson Builds Relationships with Brazil Performance Highlights California High Speed Rail Project

Director Hinson traveled to Brazil as a member of a Federal interagency delegation on the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial Inequality. During the trip, Director Hinson met with Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Relations and Brazilian business owners to discuss how MBDA can help U.S. minority-owned businesses enterprises.

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» Want to know how many new jobs were created through MBDAs work with minority-owned businesses?

» Interested in learning the Rate of Return on the taxpayer’s investment in MBDA in FY2011? Or how many clients MBDA served that year?

» You’ll find answers to these and other questions in the MBDA FY2011 Performance Highlights.

Representing minority-owned businesses nationwide, Alejandra Castillo is working to ensure that MBDA clients will have a fair shot at the many contracting opportunities surrounding the construction of the California high-speed rail system. The high speed rail will link Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than 2 hours and 40 minutes, traveling at speeds approaching 220 miles per hour.

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$6.6 Million Investment in Indian Country to Create Jobs and Support Businesses

HandshakeOn September 14, MBDA announced five winners of a grant competition to spur job creation and economic development in states with large American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Approximately $6.6 million is being invested to operate new MBDA Business Centers in Anchorage, Alaska; Fresno, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The grantees are the Native American Contractors Association; Asian, Inc.; American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico; United Tribes Technical College; and Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. Each will receive about $1.2 million over a 5-year period.

The new MBDA Business Centers will be operated in new geographic locations for MBDA and were selected to serve the high concentrations of American Indian and Alaska Native firms in each area. By expanding the MBDA footprint, more minority-owned firms will have access to MBDA and its portfolio of strategic partners in the public and private sector.

The introduction the new MBDA Business Centers completes the Agency’s overhaul of its Business Center Program. The five new Business Centers will be able address the unique economic challenges and opportunities in Indian Country and Native Alaska, while also serving other minority-owned firms nationwide.  The new MBDA Business Center program also eliminated geographic boundaries so the distinct expertise of these former Native American Business Enterprise Centers can be accessed by minority business owners from anywhere in the country.

A complete listing of all MBDA Business Centers, their unique capabilities and contact information can be found at