Created on August 15, 2013
Mobile MBDA Business Center Holds Forum to Help Minority Business Owners
Striving to help the Gulf Coast’s minority-owned businesses succeed, the Mobile MBDA Business Center held their first Gulf Coast Economic and Industry Development Forum at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce on July 26.
The event provided a platform for government, financial, community, and business leaders to discuss the successes and challenges of the minority business community, and to formulate new strategies to ensure their growth and global competitiveness.
“In the 15 states represented by the Southern Office of the Council of State Governments, there are more than 1.5 million minority-owned businesses,” said Pamela Ramos, Mobile MBDA Business Center’s executive director. “Our forum gave minority-owned businesses an opportunity to find ways of networking and access to capital—two of the biggest hurdles they face in their path to success.”
Several political leaders attended the forum including Mobile Mayor Samuel Jones, Alabama State Senators Rusty Glover, Bill Hightower and Vivian Figures, and State Representatives Adline Clark and Napoleon Bracy, Jr. They discussed the minority business landscape and their commitment to working with international corporations to look at minority-owned businesses for operations they intend to locate in Alabama.
The forum also provided an opportunity for the center to describe its role in growing minority business enterprises (MBEs) and the economic impact of these companies. Attendees discussed ways to help identify strategies to further the Gulf Coast’s social-economic capacity and improve the quality of life.
Janice Malone, a local print shop owner who attended the forum said that her challenge as a minority business owner was always trying to prove herself to potential lenders. She was excited with the information shared at the forum and the opportunities moving into Mobile, which she hopes will help her “get her foot in the door.”
Since its founding in 2006, the Mobile MBDA Business Center has assisted minority-owned businesses with earning contracts and financing in excess of $1 billion. The center’s mission is to work with MBEs to generate increased financing, contract opportunities, job creation and retention.
For more information on the Mobile MBDA Business Center, visit http://www.mbda.gov/businesscenters/mobile .