Created on September 25, 2012
Beginning on September 19 through the 22nd, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) hosted the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) in Washington, D.C. The conference, with the theme of Inspiring Leaders/Building Generations, brought together leaders of industry, policy, education, and the population at-large to discuss issues of importance to the African American community.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) was proud to participate in two discussions during ALC focused on empowering African American communities through economic opportunities both at home and abroad. On Day two of the conference, Kimberly Marcus, Associate Director for the Office of Legislative, Education, and Intergovernmental Affairs, participated in a panel hosted by Mid-Tier Advocacy examining challenges faced by small and emerging businesses in federal contracting. Marcus spoke to the resources provided by MBDA specifically the recently launched Federal Procurement Center as well as online tools such as the Phoenix-Opportunity Database. She was joined on the panel by Bridget Bean of the Small Business Administration, Ben Gaither of IBM, and Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04).
Later in the day, MBDA National Director David Hinson joined U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05) to discuss resources and economic opportunities for minority-owned firms on the continent of Africa. More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside the borders of the United States and Africa in particular presents numerous intriguing possibilities. Director Hinson spoke to the fact that six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are located on the continent and that MBDA as well as its partners within the Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) are ready to assist firms access these markets.
MBDA and its network of MBDA Business Centers  are valuable assets to African American-owned firms. By providing access to capital, contracts, market access, and strategic consulting services, African American-owned firms can reach their true economic potential, creating jobs for all Americans and helping to support and grow the entire U.S. economy.