From the National Director
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. As we continue on the road to recovery, we can all work together to support the response efforts in affected states. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides guidance for “Disaster Survivors” and “For Those Who Want to Help” at www.fema.gov/sandy . In the aftermath of the storm, it will be our combined strength as fellow Americans that will lead our restoration.
It is at times like these that we are reminded of the immeasurable value of cooperation. At MBDA, we take partnerships seriously. Throughout our 43-year history, collaboration has been the cornerstone of the continued success and record performance of MBDA and the minority business communities that we serve. Although our partners have varied widely—from private to public, from short-term to institutionalized, and from domestic to global industry leaders—the nature of our affiliations has always been centered on a shared vision where each partner achieves the desired results and increases efficiency.
True to tradition, over the past several months MBDA has forged meaningful relationships with respected organizations that are aligned with the mission of the agency. Of notable mention is our work with the California High Speed Rail Authority; our newly launched joint newsletter with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Strengthening American Business: MBDA and SBA Team Up; and our strategic relationships with global partners from Brazil, South Africa, and Zambia. Each example demonstrates our commitment to promote the growth and global competitiveness of America’s minority business community while being more efficient, effective, and responsive.
As we look ahead, MBDA will continue to encourage and facilitate alliances that aim to support the strengthening of the economy and improving the lives of all Americans.
The Art of Science: Business Matchmakers and the Evolution of Sales
Business-to-business Matchmaking Forums (B2B forums) have become a central part of developing sale pipelines and shortening the sales cycle for many savvy business owners. By providing targeted prospects within set parameters, B2B forums have the potential to drastically decrease the amount of cold calls and the resources required to source a new sale as well as to vet the opportunity. In essence, B2B forums have revolutionized the way businesses grow.
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has facilitated B2B forums for over five years with the primary goal of bringing qualified minority-owned firms closer to procurement decision-makers. This year MBDA will host a Business Matchmaker and Expo during the National MED Week Conference (December 5-6, 2012) featuring signature one-on-one matchmaking, procurement opportunity sessions with public and private sectors and exhibit booths. Conference attendees can register for pre-arranged meetings to acquire resourceful insight and contacts connected to more than $1 billion in federal and corporate forecasted procurement opportunities.
An important component of MED Week’s Business Matchmaker and Expo is the robust networking environment that allows minority-owned firms and small businesses to explore joint ventures, teaming, and strategic business alliances. To learn more visit www.medweek.gov .
Zambia: One of the Fastest Growing Economies in the World
With a population of approximately 13 million, a growing middle class and land rich in natural resources, Zambia was ranked one of the fastest growing economies in the world in a recent report by The Economist magazine. Its relatively open economy has averaged more than six percent real GDP growth over the past eight years.
In 2011, total U.S.-Zambia trade was $177 million, an 83 percent increase over 2010 levels and a more than 200 percent increase over 2009 levels. While relatively small in total, U.S.-Zambia trade has tremendous growth potential, and the Zambian government and private sector are keen to strengthen the commercial relationship between the United States and Zambia. Leading U.S. exports include machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals, and computers and electronic products.
We want to be your global resource partner. To learn more about export opportunities visit our website, www.mbda.gov , or contact the nearest MBDA Business Center .
Source: Reuters “BusinessReport,” posted 9/14/2012
San Antonio MBDA Business Center to Bridge Minority-Owned Businesses with Latin America
Helping the Obama Administration achieve its National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014 is a top priority for MBDA, because more exports mean more jobs. Through the NEI, MBDA is thinking strategically about the sectors and markets that give America’s minority businesses a competitive advantage globally.
Last month, MBDA announced an investment of $855,000 to seven MBDA Business Centers. The San Antonio MBDA Business Center , which was recently honored by MBDA for exemplary performance in the 2011 program year, received $150,000 in supplemental funding to provide expertise in exporting to Latin America. In speaking with Oretes Hubbard, the Project Director who will lead this charge, we asked for a description of the core components of a successful program.
Mr. Hubbard immediately responded that entry into any country will require strong partners domestically as well as in the target country. As the program ramps up, the MBDA Business Center has set its sights on Brazil as a key market. Mr. Hubbard states, “As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, there are several new construction and renovation projects where minority-owned firms can play a critical role by partnering with Brazil’s local businesses.” He adds, “These opportunities are just a snapshot of what Latin America has to offer export-ready firms. We hope to be the gateway for the entire MBDA Business Center network.”
For more information, contact the San Antonio MBDA Business Center, (210) 458-2480 or http://www.mbda.gov/businesscenters/sanantonio .