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  • Submitted on 18 July 2014

    Created on July 18, 2014
     

    Connecting Business with Opportunity is the theme of the 2014 National MED Week Conference on July 31-August 1 in Washington D.C.  This year’s event introduces an all new B2B Best! matchmaker and expo that will engage, educate, and connect conference attendees. 

  • Submitted on 18 July 2014

    Created on July 18, 2014
     

    Event at Bridgeport MBDA Business Center on June 12Minority businesses learned valuable tips, like how to grow their businesses by connecting with the 95% of consumers who live outside the United States, at the Bridgeport MBDA Business Center on June 12.

  • Submitted on 02 July 2014

    Created on July 2, 2014
     

    With the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference fast approaching, we wanted to take the time and spotlight a past conference honoree to give an insight into the current state and outlook of a two-time MED Week award winning firm.

    2011 METCON AwardMetcon, Inc. is a general contracting and construction management firm headquartered in Pembroke, NC with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Columbia, SC. Metcon is certified by the North Carolina Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses as an American Indian-owned general construction business. Founded in 1999, Metcon received the National Minority Construction Firm of the Year award in 2011 and 2013. Below is our interview with Aaron Thomas, the president of Metcon Inc.

    Chang: Congratulations on 15 years in business! What are some of the values that have allowed Metcon to grow rapidly into the successful business it is today?

    Thomas: Our core values are on-time delivery, diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, client satisfaction, quality, safety, and innovation. We have continued to live by these principles throughout our growth and hired individuals that also believe and operate in this fashion.

    Chang: Speaking of success, Metcon has received a number of awards in the last few years including awards at MBDA’s MED Week. How has this recognition furthered Metcon’s brand image?

    Thomas: Our recognition by MBDA as national minority construction firm of the year has been a huge thing for us.  It has enhanced our image and created dialogue for future opportunities.

  • Submitted on 26 June 2014

    Created on June 26, 2014
     

    National Director Castillo and Ron BrownsteinOn June 24, Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), gave a keynote address at “The Next America: Making America Work,” an event hosted by the National Journal in Washington DC. The event was designed to discuss how the public and private sectors can promote minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship.

    Speaking to the more than 200 attendees, Castillo reminded them that MBDA was celebrating its 45th year anniversary, but that the Agency’s goal was to think about the role it will play in helping minority-owned businesses during the next 45 years.

    “Minority-owned businesses see opportunity where others do not,” she said.  “As we move forward, MBDA will continue helping our clients with both domestic and global business opportunities; we will continue helping them become procurement-ready and we will focus on helping them develop a succession plan for their future.”

    Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a minority business owner and member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, also gave keynote remarks at the event. Additionally, there were two expert panels that explored minority workforce development and financial empowerment, and how to create opportunities for minority small businesses. Al Jazeera America Host Ray Suarez, Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ronald BrownsteinNational Journal Correspondent Janell Ross, and National Journal Correspondent and Director of the Next Economy Project Amy Sullivan moderated the discussions.

  • Submitted on 16 June 2014

    Created on June 16, 2014
     

    The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, along with the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department, hosted the 8th Annual New Mexico Native American Economic Summit, May 20-22 in Albuquerque, N.M.

    The intent of the summit was to promote the development of a healthy, self-sufficient American Indian Economy, both on and off the reservation.  The mission was both simple and powerful:  “To help Native People achieve successful economic development initiatives while incorporating, strengthening and building upon tribal values,” said Ted Pedro, Director, Santa Fe MBDA Business Center.

    Pedro said the Summit was designed as the “place to meet” and introduce Native American businesses and its leaders in order to synergize and strategize with peers and new contacts.

  • Submitted on 12 June 2014

    Created on June 17, 2014
     

    National Director CastilloThe country's shifting demographics have huge implications for U.S. industry and the economy. By 2030 minorities are projected to provide all of the net growth of workers in the labor force. Experts say that increased public investment, skills training, and workforce development are crucial to improving the economy, expanding the middle class, and empowering the country's minority populations.

    In an era of slow financial growth and tight public budgets, American minorities have taken to entrepreneurship, innovation and service to create new jobs, build wealth, and provide critical social value for their communities. Minority businesses make up 15 percent of the country's small businesses today and employ 5.9 million workers.

    Join National Journal for the fourth Next America summit as they convene the nation's key opinion leaders for a robust discussion about minority financial empowerment, workforce development and entrepreneurship. They will explore questions such as: How can government grow the economy and improve the job market for all of its citizens? How can the public and private sectors best equip U.S. minorities with the skills they need for work? How do small businesses impact community growth? And what is the future of minority entrepreneurship?

    Event Details:

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    The Grand Hyatt Washington | 1000 H Street NW | Washington, DC

    RSVP to the attend or watch the event online.

  • Submitted on 11 June 2014

    Created on June 11, 2014
     

    The largest federally sponsored event on minority enterprise development. Visit medweek.mbda.gov.

    Early this month MBDA hosted a public meeting on the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference.

    » Replay Public Meeting

  • Submitted on 06 June 2014

    Created on June 6, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on the White House AAPI Blog.

    Bill Imada is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

    More than 1.5 million businesses in the United States are owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. These firms account for $508.6 billion in spending power nationwide and have resulted in the creation of more than 2.8 million jobs. A vast majority of these companies are small and are fueled almost exclusively on creatively, ingenuity, business innovation and an unparalleled level of entrepreneurial spirit that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

    They include a robotics company designed to entice young people to consider careers in science, technology and engineering; a brick and mortar Boba tea shop that will introduce new flavors and customer enhancements to widen its appeal; a fashion design company that draws inspiration from the cultural diversity of America; and, a shoe designer who incorporates recycled and repurposed paper to create an environmentally friendly consumer product.

    On May 5, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) teamed up with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by holding a roundtable discussion to address some of the key issues facing business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

  • Submitted on 20 May 2014

    Created on May 20, 2014
     

    Joann Hill Maryland’s Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs hosted their 5th Annual MBE University Conference and Expo at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore on May 20.

    The event was a unique forum, combining educational workshops with business development and networking opportunities that meet the unique needs of small, minority and women-owned businesses.

    “The workshops, exhibitors and matchmakers who participated in this conference were all chosen with the intent of adding great value to our small, minority and women-owned entrepreneurs,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.

    Several federal government representatives addressed more than 200 attendees during the opening session. The speakers included Congressman Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, Sharon R. Pinder, Director, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development, and Joann Hill, Chief, Office of Business Development, Minority Business Development Agency.

    “Each minority business enterprise attending today’s conference represents job creation and economic growth,” said Hill. “Through your businesses, each of you keeps your community, city and state thriving and moving forward economically. That is an invaluable contribution and is to be applauded.”

    After the opening session, the crowd dispersed into one of the three designated areas that included workshops, exposition hall and the matchmaking seminar.

  • Submitted on 14 May 2014

    Created on May 14, 2014
     

    In March, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) celebrated its 45th anniversary. And as the Agency begins planning for the next 45 years, it will do so missing a key team player.

    Venice Pamela Harris was 17-years old when she started working with the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1972. She was still in high school when she applied and was accepted into the Junior Technician Program, a federal program managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was geared for high school students who didn’t plan on going to college. Little did she know that entering that program would lead to a memorable and rewarding 42-year federal service career.

    “In high school, my curriculum was geared towards business. I had a lot of shorthand, typing classes,” she said. “What’s funny is that DEA also had a program where they recruited young high school ladies for entry-level secretarial positions. I also applied for their program, was accepted and offered a GS-3 position. It was a tough decision to make, but I decided to go with the Department of Commerce’s GS-1 position working with the Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of Personnel.”

    Harris thanks Mrs. Ruffin, her high school business teacher, for helping her make that decision—the one she said was “the right decision.”

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients secure contracts totaling $6.9 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Contracts

Upcoming Events

[Within 90 days]
11/08/2014 - 8:00am - 10:00pm
11/11/2014 (All day) - 11/13/2014 (All day)
11/12/2014 (All day) - 11/14/2014 (All day)
11/12/2014 (All day) - 11/15/2014 (All day)

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