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  • Submitted on 20 October 2016

    It all starts with an idea. Sometimes it can be as simple as a “what-if” lodged in the back of our minds that can spark the next great invention. A simple idea, when coupled with ingenuity and opportunity, can transform the world we live in for the better. That’s the awesome power of innovation.

    Innovation, one of the Commerce Department’s five strategic goals, is defined as “the invention, improvement, and commercialization of new products, processes, and services ...” It plays an integral role in the mission of all 12 bureaus housed within the department. 

  • Submitted on 18 October 2016

    Penny Pritzker, Secretary of CommerceThe rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States during the last several decades, which is projected to continue increasing in the years ahead, presents significant challenges as well as huge opportunities for our country. At the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) 2016 Annual Policy Conference, the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) both worked to promote business development and entrepreneurship as critical elements within in the nationwide efforts to maximize the potential of the Hispanic community and in doing so the immediate and long term global competitiveness of the entire American economy.

    Serving as the keynote speaker during the closing plenary session titled, “Understanding the Hispanic Consumer,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker went beyond the discussion of what products and services Latinos consume most and the significance of their growing buying power. Secretary Pritzker emphasized the importance of supporting the growth and development of Hispanic owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Her remarks highlighted the fact that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the American economy, and therefore represent a talent potential critical to America’s immediate and long term success.

  • Submitted on 12 October 2016

    Guest blog post by George Laws Garcia, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, Minority Business Development Agency

    George Laws Garcia, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, MBDAAs part of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) I work to engage Congressional, state and local officials to help create favorable conditions for minority businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper. In this role I have the opportunity to support capacity development in Hispanic and all minority communities to build and grow our own businesses, create good jobs in our communities, provide needed goods and services in our domestic markets, and to utilize our cultural, linguistic and international knowledge as a competitive advantage to export globally.

    Given the rapid growth of minority communities in the U.S. and the generational shift in America’s workforce which will soon see us becoming a majority minority nation, the need to support the growth of minority businesses and entrepreneurs has never been more important to keeping America Open for Business. I help shape America’s policy and legislative agenda toward minority businesses through strategic advocacy efforts that, not only raise awareness about the issues impacting minority business communities, but also increase understanding of the importance of minority business growth to America’s domestic and global economic competitiveness. 

  • Submitted on 22 August 2016


    Created on August 24, 2016

    Since approximately 2006 the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has been mired in a persistent recession which has now escalated into an all-out fiscal, economic and demographic crisis of unprecedented proportions. Although the effects of the crisis are being felt most intensely by the island’s 3.4 million residents, its impact has also reached beyond the island’s shores.  

  • Submitted on 09 August 2016

    Created on August 9, 2016

     MBDA Deputy Director Albert K. Shen and Fundation CEO Sam Graziano sign MOUThe U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) signed a memorandum of understanding with one of the nation's leading small business lenders, Fundation Group LLC. Signing on behalf of MBDA was Deputy Director Albert K. Shen, and signing on behalf of Fundation was CEO Sam Graziano.

    The official signing, which took place overlooking the U.S. Capitol, marks the beginning of a partnership designed to provide minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) with access to business insights and strategies, while also increasing access to an additional source of alternative capital via Fundation’s online lending platform.

  • Submitted on 04 August 2016

    Created on August 4, 2016

    The Minority Business Development Agency's (MBDA) National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo traveled to the Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Tulsa, OK, to give a keynote address on increasing Native American entrepreneurship and expanding their business pursuits beyond gaming to include innovative technology.

    RES attendees were able to ask questions about federal contracting, obtaining business certifications, as well as ways for Native American business owners to work with local, state, and Federal Government agencies to increase economic development in their communities.

  • Submitted on 15 July 2016

    Created on July 15, 2016

    MBDA employees discuss their recent DISC assessments Communication and teamwork are two of the most critical components of any organization, regardless of its mission. Without communication and teamwork, it’s almost impossible to achieve or sustain operational excellence.  For the Department of Commerce, operational excellence is defined as “strengthening the Department’s capacity to achieve its objectives, maximize return on program investments and deliver quality, timely service.”

    One of the ways that the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is focusing on operational excellence is by completing individual DISC Behavioral Assessments.

    DISC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication; and to increase employee engagement.  The assessment is based on the DISC theory developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston, and focuses on four behavior types: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance (DISC).

  • Submitted on 01 July 2016

    Created on July 1, 2016

    The ESSENCE Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African American cultural and lifestyle events, unfolding over days in New Orleans, Louisiana.  While renowned for the entertainers and A-List celebrities it features, the Festival has evolved in recent years to also highlight much more than music. And this year, the U.S. Commerce Department and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) are on site leading a robust agenda of entrepreneurship programs and technical workshops.

    This weekend’s Essence Festival, from July 1-3, marks the second year in a row that MBDA has hosted service-oriented programs at the gathering – though this year’s offerings are significantly more substantial. Last year, MBDA collaborated with ESSENCE to host ‘Pitch City: Minority Business Executive Institute’, which provided minority entrepreneurs from the Gulf Coast region the opportunity to participate in an intensive two-day training course focused on business development.

  • Submitted on 01 July 2016

    Created on July 1, 2016

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to sell your products or services to the federal government? Perhaps you've attended a workshop on doing business with the government at some point in the past. Maybe you even heard about the billions of dollars the U.S. Government spends every year buying goods and services from entrepreneurs just like you.

    At this week’s Essence Festival, MBDA is offering panels and technical assistance to help demystify this process.  At our Leap. Run. Grow slate of business development sessions, I’m eager to connect with emerging and established entrepreneurs. The panel I am moderating on July 1 is focused on government contracts, and it is titled, “Are You Ready to Do Business with the Federal Government?”

  • Submitted on 10 June 2016

    Created on June 10, 2016

    MBDA Associate Director for Business Development Takes Part in Follow-On Trade Mission to China

    Follow-On to “China Clean Technology – Business Development Mission” from April 2015 As he embarks on a trade mission to China, Efrain Gonzalez of the Minority Business Development Agency  (MBDA) looks forward to laying the groundwork for growing numbers of American companies to participate in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

    “It’s exciting to be a part of the effort to explore potential collaboration and partnerships in support of our minority business global business development effort in China,” said Gonzalez, Associate Director for Business Development at MBDA at the U.S. Commerce Department.

    “Our goal is supporting the Department of Commerce’s efforts to create a strong foundation for global business development in China, particularly in green energy sectors,” Gonzalez said.  “For the thousands of minority-owned businesses that MBDA serves, China represents a crucial international marketplace.”

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