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From the Director

  • Submitted on 27 March 2012

    David Hinson, National Director


    In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for constructing an economy built to last -- an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and American ingenuity. An economy that’s built on making things the rest of the world wants to buy and where, if you work hard, you can earn a decent living.

  • Submitted on 24 February 2012

    David Hinson, National Director Supporting the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses is a priority for the Department of Commerce and the Obama Administration.

    And we’re making good on that priority. Last year, the Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) registered the best annual performance in its 41-year history. It assisted minority-owned businesses in gaining access to nearly $4 billion in contracts and capital, supporting the creation of nearly 6,000 much-needed jobs. Over the last three years, our network of 39 MBDA Business Centers, has been largely responsible for generating $10 billion in contracts and capital while helping to create and save nearly 20,000 jobs.

    Today, the challenge for MBDA– like so many organizations across the federal government – is to figure out how we build on that record while becoming more efficient.  A number of bureaus right here within the Commerce Department are facing a similar challenge, which has led, for example, to consolidating or otherwise cutting several programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), restructuring some units within International Trade Administration (ITA) and shifting the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) emphasis to regional innovation strategies. So how do we meet the President’s mandate to improve services to minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in an increasingly difficult budget environment?

  • Submitted on 20 December 2011

    David Hinson, National DirectorGreetings,

     As we close out 2011 and prepare to enter 2012, one cannot help but reflect on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. 2011 proved to be a productive and exciting year for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). MBDA took bold steps and explored new markets all in an effort to enhance our ability to empower the minority business community and create jobs for all Americans.

    During 2011, MBDA committed nearly $14 million over five years to the MBDA Business Center program. The redesigned program eliminates geographic boundaries of the centers so they can assist minority entrepreneurs nationwide with access to markets, contracts and capital and offer strategic business consulting services. The Agency also expanded its footprint with new center locations in Denver, CO, Cleveland, OH, Boston, MA, and Minneapolis, MN and a satellite presence in Anchorage, AK.

    As part of the nearly $14 million commitment, MBDA dedicated $1.75 million to open the Federal Procurement Center in Washington, DC with a sole focus of increasing the accessibility of the federal marketplace to minority-owned firms nationwide.

  • Submitted on 17 November 2011

    David Hinson, National DirectorIn support of the President’s call to increase collaboration among federal agencies and with private and public sector entities, there has been an abundance of interagency initiatives geared to increase job creation and entrepreneurship. Among these, MBDA has partnered with other federal agencies in support of the Job and Innovation Accelerator, Strong Cities, Strong Communities and Start-Up America.

    As a federal partner, MBDA is providing technical support to grantees of the Job Accelerator to identify and match minority businesses with potential procurement opportunities resulting from the 20 regional innovation clusters.  Moreover, we are excited that three MBDA Business Center operators won grants to implement the Job Accelerator projects.  MBDA also has boots on the ground in New Orleans and Fresno, California to support economic development, business formation and expansion in those cities as part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative. In addition, MBDA continues to participate in the Start-Up America initiative to support business formation and innovation.

    As many of you may know, last year the President signed into law The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Dodd-Frank Act, to promote the financial stability of America and to protect consumers from abusive financial service practices, among other purposes.  In particular, the law brought many changes to increase transparency and accountability in the financial industry, strengthen consumer protection against unfair lending practices, and to promote greater inclusion of minorities and women in the employment and procurement of federal financial regulatory agencies.  The law established the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion at the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among other federal financial regulatory agencies.

  • Submitted on 20 October 2011

    David HinsonGreetings!

    As we embark on a new fiscal year, I’d like to begin by thanking all of you who helped make our Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference such a huge success. We had over 800 people in attendance learning about the best strategies to pursue government contracting opportunities, take advantage of new industries, and cultivate strategic partnerships to grow.  Please visit the MED Week website to view the photos and remarks from some of our most notable speakers like HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebilius, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Management Dan Tangherlini and others.

    MBDA was busy building relationships as well. We signed three distinct Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) designed to foster minority business growth and development with Tremco, Inc., IBM, and the Republic of Turkey’s Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization.

  • Submitted on 19 September 2011

    David HinsonGreetings,

    Recently, President Obama presented an aggressive plan to help small businesses get Americans back to work. The American Jobs Act would provide payroll tax cuts for 98% of businesses, a $4,000 tax credit for hiring workers who have been unemployed for more than six months, and extend the 100% expensing tax credit for large and small businesses.

    The plan also includes provisions to expand job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults through a new Pathways Back to Work Fund that supports summer and year round jobs for youth; innovative new job training programs to connect low-income workers to jobs quickly; and successful programs to encourage employers to bring on disadvantaged workers. 

    The President is also directing executive branch agencies to accelerate their payments to small business contractors so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth.  Additionally, the President is tasking his CFO and CTO with creating a one-stop, online portal for small businesses to easily access government services.

  • Submitted on 29 August 2011


    MBDA is gearing up for a busy month, and I’d like to share some of the exciting things we’re working on.

    On September 1, I’ll be traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to welcome our newest MBDA Business Center to the nationwide network.    Joining us at the open house will be U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and a wide range of local business leaders, trade groups and minority chambers of commerce.  I will then participate in an inaugural reception for the new MBDA Business in Manhattan, New York on September 15.  

  • Submitted on 27 July 2011

    David HinsonFor over 40 years, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has facilitated job growth by fostering the development of minority-owned business here in the United States. Minority business enterprises (MBEs) create jobs in a variety of economic sectors, from manufacturing to hospitality services and everything in between.  

    To ensure that our country remains competitive in the future, we must ensure that minority-owned businesses are providing the jobs of the future. That’s why MBDA works to help minority-owned businesses participate in some of our fastest growing sectors including high-tech, healthcare IT, and green energy.

    Advancements in technology and new developments in information technology bring more opportunities in the tech sector. As healthcare providers improve and update the way they store and share medical records, there will be growing jobs in healthcare IT. Finally, as we transition from fossil fuels to cleaner modes of energy production, there will be more and more opportunities in the green, renewable energy solutions our children and grandchildren will come to rely on.

    These jobs may be updating our electrical grid, maintaining infrastructure, or manufacturing new materials, such as solar panels.

  • Submitted on 29 June 2011

    David Hinson

    Exporting U.S. innovation, products and services is a top priority for the Obama administration, and MBDA is putting the spotlight on how minority-owned businesses are growing and thriving overseas so that we can be more prosperous here at home.

    Recently, President Obama held an economic summit in Puerto Rico, organized in part by MBDA and the U.S. Department of Commerce.  MBDA National Deputy Director Alejandra Castillo and our partner the Puerto Rico MBDA Business Center were integral in the success of the summit where President Obama’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico made its final recommendations to boost job creation on the island.  The Task Force recommended that MBDA continue to aid job creation and innovation by helping to facilitate public-private partnerships to finance the Integrated Bio-refinery Program.  This program—which aims to create biofuels from sugar cane—will allow America to grow our own fuel and grow jobs at the same time.

    This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released the final data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which offers a wellspring of data on the characteristics of minority-owned businesses in the United States.  One characteristic that is sure to have a profound effect on our efforts to double exports over the next five years is that the minority business community continues to lead in global commerce.

  • Submitted on 27 May 2011

    David Hinson

    MBDA Seeks Bids for Business Center Focused Exclusively on Federal Procurement

    The month of May has brought with it a number of announcements, news releases and opportunities of interest to the MBE constituency MBDA serves.  With this month’s newsletter I’d like to highlight two opportunities for your participation—one designed to create jobs and another intended to reform government rules. I’d also like to present new business statistics about Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander businesses.  

    Just last week, the Obama Administration announced the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge to promote innovation and job growth and advance our global competitiveness. The competition offers a total of $33 million in funding from three federal agencies and technical assistance from 13 additional agencies to promote the development of at least 20 industry clusters across the country. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will be investing $10 million in funding and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will be supporting the program’s implementation.

    The goal of the program is to spur economic growth through public-private partnerships in 20 regions across the country.  Applicants to this federal funding opportunity will be considered based on their ability to demonstrate a focus and measurable outcomes on achieving sustainable economic growth in the region; augmenting business formation, especially of small businesses, and leveraging existing business assets; increasing exports; developing a skilled workforce through outreach, training and the creation of career pathways, and integrating historically underserved businesses and communities into the economic activities of the regional cluster. 

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