As we embark on a new fiscal year, I’d like to begin by thanking all of you who helped make our Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference such a huge success. We had over 800 people in attendance learning about the best strategies to pursue government contracting opportunities, take advantage of new industries, and cultivate strategic partnerships to grow. Please visit the MED Week website  to view the photos and remarks  from some of our most notable speakers like HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebilius, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Management Dan Tangherlini and others.
MBDA was busy building relationships as well. We signed three distinct Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) designed to foster minority business growth and development with Tremco, Inc. , IBM, and the Republic of Turkey’s Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization .
These MOUs are part of our comprehensive plan to foster the global competitiveness of minority-owned firms domestically and abroad. As part of that focus, I recently traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to visit factories where Navistar, Caterpillar and American automotive manufacturers have facilities. It was inspiring to be amongst U.S. minority businesses that are integrated into the global supply chain and committed to establishing productive partnerships with small and medium business enterprises in South Africa.
Increasing our nation’s export capacity through the President’s National Export Initiative  has been a top priority, and the minority business community has played a leadership role. In fact, many minority-owned firms are twice as likely to generate revenue through export as their non-minority-owned counterparts.
Taking advantage of opportunities in abroad is critical to boosting job growth here at home. Through our network of more than 45 MBDA Business Centers , we work to equip minority-owned firms with the information and resources they need to tap into international markets.
Over the course of the coming month, I’ll be traveling to Manhattan, Boston, Minneapolis, and Southern California to welcome new MBDA Business Centers to our growing network . So, if you’re in the area, please stop by one of our open houses to find out what our Business Centers can do to help you execute your business plan, gain access to contracts and capital, or grow your business globally so we can jump start job creation together.
Through your hard work and entrepreneurship and our resources and expertise we can censure minority businesses continue to provide the well-paying jobs Americans need.