New Minority Business Center to Foster Growth of Minority-Owned Firms through Assistance with Federal Procurement
WASHINGTON (May 31, 2011) – The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced today a competitive solicitation for candidates interested in operating a new MBDA Federal Procurement Center (MFPC). MBDA will award one cooperative agreement totaling $1.75 million over a five-year period – from fiscal year 2011 through fiscal year 2015 – to operate the Center, which will be located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The Federal Procurement Center will provide services to minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the country to better position them to access and obtain federal procurement awards, including prime and sub contracts. Through the MFPC pilot program, MBDA will offer specialized assistance with both identifying and accessing federal procurement opportunities, as well as guidance on how to excel in federal contracts.
“The Federal Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services totaling more than $500 billion each year,” said MBDA National Director David A. Hinson. “This pilot program offers MBEs an outstanding opportunity to gain access to the federal government contracting arena, while at the same time, allowing government to benefit from the untapped potential of the minority business community.”
The opening of a Minority Business Center focused specifically on federal procurement is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all U.S. businesses share in the jobs and opportunities created by federal government activities.
“MBDA has never had a center solely focused on federal contracting and we are confident this program will serve as an invaluable tool in facilitating teaming arrangements, joint ventures, and access to contracts,” said Alex Doñé, MBDA Associate Director for Business Development. “The MBDA Federal Procurement Center will help MBEs successfully navigate government contracting opportunities within the federal government. This is an excellent growth opportunity.”
The MFPC will be part of MBDA’s nationwide services network and will work collaboratively with both MBDA staff and other minority business centers to leverage business and federal procurement expertise that will increase contracting opportunities and capital investments for minority firms, leading to the creation of new U.S. jobs.
While the Center will serve minority firms of all sizes, target clients will include firms with annual revenues of more than $1 million or those in high-growth industries such as green technology, clean energy, health care, and infrastructure and broadband technology.
MBDA invites applications from for-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations), non-profit organizations, state and local governments, American Indian Tribes and educational institutions are all eligible to apply to operate the MBDA Federal Procurement Center.
Successful applicants will demonstrate:
- Familiarity and expertise with the federal acquisitions process
- Established relationships with federal program managers and contracting officers
- Experience assisting minority firms in obtaining government contracts and related financing awards
- Knowledge of current and relevant laws governing federal procurement and those specifically enacted to encourage MBE participation
- Capability for educating and assisting minority firms in teaming arrangements
- A company mission aligned with both the mission of MBDA and MFPC program objectives.
Applications must be submitted electronically and time-stamped at www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m., E.D.T. on July 7, 2011. Applications that are time-stamped after the deadline will not be considered.
Applicants must review and adhere to the full Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement that outlines program details and instructions for submitting an application. The FFO can be downloaded at www.mbda.gov .
Note: The MBDA Federal Procurement Center pilot program is not a grant program to start or expand an individual business. Applications are for the operation of the MBDA Federal Procurement Center, which includes providing specialized education, technical assistance and consulting services to eligible MBEs that seek to pursue federal contracts,as set forth in the FFO announcement. Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered for funding.
MBDA will hold a pre-application teleconference on June 8, 2011, to assist those interested in applying. Participants must register at least 24 hours in advance of the teleconference. Conference details will be posted shortly on the MBDA website at www.mbda.gov 
About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA, www.mbda.gov , an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the minority business community, making them better equipped to create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic and global marketplaces. With a nationwide network of business centers and strategic partners in 50 locations, MBDA assists minority entrepreneurs and business owners with consulting services, contract and financing opportunities, bonding and certification services, building business-to-business alliances and executive training.