As we close out 2011 and prepare to enter 2012, one cannot help but reflect on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. 2011 proved to be a productive and exciting year for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). MBDA took bold steps and explored new markets all in an effort to enhance our ability to empower the minority business community and create jobs for all Americans.
During 2011, MBDA committed nearly $14 million over five years  to the MBDA Business Center program. The redesigned program eliminates geographic boundaries of the centers so they can assist minority entrepreneurs nationwide with access to markets, contracts and capital and offer strategic business consulting services. The Agency also expanded its footprint with new center locations in Denver, CO, Cleveland, OH, Boston, MA, and Minneapolis, MN and a satellite presence in Anchorage, AK.
As part of the nearly $14 million commitment, MBDA dedicated $1.75 million to open the Federal Procurement Center in Washington, DC  with a sole focus of increasing the accessibility of the federal marketplace to minority-owned firms nationwide.
The National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise  (NACMBE) met four times in 2011. The Council expects to release a report of recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce that will support the growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in domestic and global markets.
In September of this year, MBDA hosted the 29th Annual National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference  in Washington, DC. Scores of minority entrepreneurs from across the country, as well as overseas, attended to gain insights from leaders of industry in addition to senior Obama Administration officials. During the conference, MBDA also entered into formal partnerships with Tremco, IBM, and the Republic of Turkey  to broaden the Agency’ service offering and resources made available to client firms.
With an enormously successful 2011 soon to close, I am excited as to what 2012 will bring for MBDA and for the firms we serve. It has been my honor and privilege to work with each of you this past year and I look forward to continued growth and success in 2012. On behalf of MBDA, I extend to you and your families our warmest holiday wishes for a great new year.