In FY2011, MBDA began the formal process of institutionalizing efforts to support minority-owned businesses globally. For decades, MBDA has supported expanded trade through minority-owned and operated businesses. We continued this effort under the Obama Administration; however, the focus on minority exporters and their ability to support domestic job growth has taken on added importance with the introduction of the President’s National Export Initiative.
Today, the importance of minority-owned businesses as a key component of U.S. international trade has never been greater. Minority-owned firms have the most favorable export attributes of any sector of the U.S. economy and represent the future of export growth.
Minority-owned businesses are nearly twice as likely to export their products and services as non-minority owned businesses.
Management teams of minority-owned businesses are six times more likely to transact business in a language other than English than non-minority business managers.
Minority-owned businesses are three times more likely to generate 100 percent of their revenues from exporting than non-minority owned firms.
Minority-owned firms are more likely to have international operations than non-minority owned firms in 14 of 19 key industry sectors.
Minority-owned businesses are leaders in exporting in several key industries including wholesale trade, professional science, technical services, finance, and insurance.
Minority-owned businesses make substantial contributions to exports in manufacturing, retail trade, technology, and educational services.
Building Relationships with Federal Export Entities
In 2011, MBDA began building new and exciting relationships with trade assistance organizations, including the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade & Development Agency. The Agency also established relationships with the American Chamber of Commerce network and foreign chambers of commerce operating on U.S. soil. Finally, MBDA continued to review the possibility of creating an MBDA Business Center network outside the United States to support minority-owned business growth abroad. The strategy would be for these centers to partner with existing U.S. Export Assistance Centers and U.S. Agency for International Development Centers, as well as the Small Business Administration’s growing network of Small Business Development Centers operating in Latin America.
Speaking to Global Audiences – Germany and the United Kingdom
One strategy to promote U.S. minority-owned businesses abroad is to build relationships with foreign governments and organizations. MBDA participated in Germany’s Hannover Messe International Trade Fair and London’s Third Global Merger & Acquisition Symposium in FY2011.
In April 2011, National Director David A. Hinson and global industry leaders traveled to Hannover, Germany for the Hannover Messe International Trade Fair, which is the largest international conference of its kind. Director Hinson was a featured speaker at the U.S. Global & Markets Pavilion, where he spoke to international representatives from a variety of industries about the capabilities of America’s minority-owned firms and met with the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He also traveled to meet with the U.S. Ambassadors to Belgium, the European Union, and France to discuss the benefits to the United States of creating strategic partnerships between minority-owned firms and immigrant populations within these countries.
In May 2011, MBDA was again prominently featured at the Global Merger & Acquisition Symposium, hosted by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors. National Director Hinson traveled to London to discuss mergers and acquisitions as a global growth strategy for medium-sized businesses and explained to audiences how minority-owned businesses offer international investors the prospect of above average returns and a powerful entry strategy into the U.S. market and other markets that have large populations in the United States.
Building Partnerships Abroad – The Republic of Turkey
MBDA, the International Trade Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Organization (KOSGEB) signed a memorandum of understanding that established a partnership between the U.S. and Turkey to exchange information about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), provide networking opportunities for SMEs, and promote international trade between the U.S. and Turkish SMEs. The partnership also allows for an exchange of best practices and the creation of Business Matching Centers to increase trade volume in both countries.
Taking Firms Global – South Africa, China and Australia
In FY2011, MBDA, in partnership with Navistar and Cummins Engine, attended a Business Investment and Opportunity Mission hosted by the South African Department of Trade and Industry. The goals of the mission were to help create jobs in the U.S. economy, and to provide minority-owned businesses with direct exposure to U.S.
automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in South Africa. Specifically, this mission provided MBDA’s diverse manufacturing clients with direct market exposure to more than $100 million in contract opportunities with U.S. automotive OEMs already doing business in South Africa. The South African business mission also
exposed investors to MBDA’s expert knowledge and capabilities, and our commitment to matching South African opportunities with U.S. minority-owned businesses in the automotive industry. Every business participating in the mission is now pursuing opportunities either in South Africa or in the U.S. as teaming partners.
MBDA also participated in a China Business Opportunity Trade Mission to Beijing, Taijin and Shanghai, along with a 27-member delegation of U.S. corporate executives and minority-owned businesses. The trip was organized by the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council to foster business relations between American corporate and
minority-owned businesses, corporate members of China’s Minority Supplier Development organization, and Chinese ethnic minority business. National Director Hinson’s time in China also included meetings in Beijing to discuss MBDA’s globalization program and objectives, investment opportunities in China, and minority business enterprise matching.
Supporting New Global Initiatives – Brazil
MBDA also engaged its U.S. government partners in an effort to create export opportunities for America’s minority-owned firms in Brazil. On March 19, 2011, the United States and Brazil signed a memorandum of understanding on major global sporting events to establish a partnership in advance of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. With a desire to maximize the economic opportunities resulting from these major events, both countries agreed to collaborate and share best practices in the areas of strategic planning, infrastructure, commercial enterprise, and to promote equality of opportunity for all.
MBDA worked with officials from the Departments of State and Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, Export-Import Bank, and the International Trade Agency to develop proposals for future international engagement. Possibilities include trade missions, promotion of public/private partnerships, and training and outreach to underrepresented or disadvantaged groups in Brazil.
Hosting Foreign Dignitaries and Business Leaders – Washington, DC
MBDA’s work to increase foreign trade opportunities for minority-owned businesses does not only take place abroad. The Agency regularly meets with foreign dignitaries and business leaders during their travels to the United States. In FY2011, MBDA met with foreign dignitaries and business leaders from China, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Spain, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Zambia, Taiwan, representatives of the European Union, and Panamá. In addition to working on behalf of America’s minority-owned businesses, MBDA has taken a more active role in advising foreign governments on developing MBDA-type programs in their countries.