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  • Submitted on 29 December 2016

    As we bring 2016 to a close, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is particularly proud of the accomplishments achieved throughout the year. This year, MBDA reached new milestones creating along the way important initiatives and programs that supported the continued growth of minority business enterprises (MBEs) within an innovation-driven economy.

    Throughout the year, MBDA played a critical role in U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s Open for Business agenda. As the leading federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of MBEs, MBDA remains enthusiastic about the future role that MBEs will increasingly play in fueling the Nation’s economic health and prosperity.

  • Submitted on 08 August 2016

    Created on August 8, 2016

    U.S. Demographics Are Key To Our Economic Destiny

    Cross post from Medium

    U.S. Demographics Are Key To Our Economic Destiny

    This year for the first time, the United States served as an official partner country of the world’s largest industrial trade fair, Hannover-Messe. Along with President Barack Obama and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, I accompanied a delegation of American minority entrepreneurs to Germany.

    Within hours of the fair’s opening, it was evident that we had stepped into a time portal that zipped us into the future of the global industrial economy. The fair’s theme, “Integrated Industry — Discovery Solutions,” only hinted at the amazing innovation-driven universe that we ultimately encountered at the trade expo. I witnessed the connective tissue of a vast, powerful technological framework taking shape — the Internet of Things (IoT) — and sensed that we were at the threshold of a major seismic shift in global industries, an unprecedented period of technological advancement. A new world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced manufacturing, Big Data, and sensors is remaking entire industries at a breakneck pace.

  • Submitted on 30 June 2016

    Created on June 30, 2016

    Igniting the Inclusive Innovation Movement

    As New Orleans prepares to welcome the 22nd Annual Essence Festival, the Crescent City and the state of Louisiana anticipate another economic boon from the expected half a million attendees.  The festival, rooted in celebrating African-American music and culture, has become “a huge economic engine for the city,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a 2014 interview, noting that the Essence Festival generated some $241 million in revenue.

    Essence Crowd Shot

    This year, the Festival promises to soar to new heights.  For the first time, the event will feature a Money + Power Expo that offers a transformative experience for attendees, inviting them to think as innovators and entrepreneurs, and to access solution-oriented content to start, sustain, or grow their business.

    The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is excited to have partnered with Essence to design the Entrepreneurship Village, which anchors the Money + Power Expo.  Our program sessions, titled Leap. Run .Grow. will deliver a perfect blend of inspiration and substance through three tracks of interactive workshops and panels designed with a specific goal in mind: supporting a population of emerging and established entrepreneurs whose contributions are essential to America’s economic future.

  • Submitted on 17 May 2016

    Created on May 17, 2016

      THE CASE FOR INCLUSIVE INNOVATION: MINORITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE BY: ALEJANDRA CASTILLO, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY  “If our nation is to remain globally competitive, we must leverage and engage our diversity, especially our minority entrepreneurs.”

    Featured in the National Urban League 2016 State of Black America

    What images come to mind when you read the words “innovation” and “entrepreneurship”?

    If your primary points of reference are popular media or trade press, you might envision a fresh-faced 20-something-year-old on the leafy campus of a private university.

    But, as the daughter of a Dominican Republic-born entrepreneur who came of age in the Bronx, I have a different take on American economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.  As the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I can accurately report that African-Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans now represent the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. 

  • Submitted on 22 March 2016

    Created on March 22, 2016

    Wendell Kimbrough is the CEO of Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS), a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that designs, manages, and evaluates 15 education and social service programs, including support for child care centers.Do you have part-time or seasonal employees who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan? Now, there’s an easy way to help them start saving. myRA is a new retirement savings option developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It’s designed for workers who don’t have access to retirement savings plans at work, or who lack other options to save.

    How does this help your employees?

    myRA was developed to remove common barriers to saving and to provide a simple, safe, affordable way for people to start saving for retirement. It costs nothing to open an account, there are no fees, and myRA carries no risk of losing money.

  • Submitted on 08 March 2016

    Created on March 8, 2016

    MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. CastilloAs we celebrate Women’s History Month and the vast contributions that women have made to the strength and well-being of our nation, we are seeing the next chapters in this history being written as women take a bigger role in building our economy

    Women today make up nearly half of our workforce. Women-owned firms in the United States generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and employ millions of people.

    Furthermore, when women entrepreneurs flourish, families benefit. Women tend to spend more of their money on their children’s health and education, which leads to a more skilled, more productive generation of workers.

  • Submitted on 16 February 2016

    Created on February 16, 2016

    On January 12, 2016, President Barrack Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address to members of Congress. During his highly-anticipated annual address, President Obama spoke optimistically of America’s future and our progress in the areas of foreign policy, the economy, health care, social progress and his desire to transform America into the global leader in fighting climate change.

    As we spotlight the Nation’s successes over the past seven plus years of the Obama Administration, we must also closely examine the state of minority businesses. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2044, people of color will make up a majority of the U.S. population. The face of our nation is transforming and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. It is what will keep us at the forefront of technology, innovation and the global marketplace. Minority businesses are essential to the economic success of our nation.

    During his address, the President also posed several key questions. One in particular, is of special importance to us here at the Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency; “How do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in the new economy?”

  • Submitted on 19 February 2014

    Created on February 19, 2014

    I am honored to serve as the Agency’s Acting National Director. In this capacity, I will continue to promote our Agency’s important mission and the stellar work of minority-owned businesses.

  • Submitted on 06 January 2014

    Created on January 7, 2014

    David Hinson, National Director Dear Friends,

    After four and a half years as National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, I am leaving the Agency to return to the private sector on January 15, 2014. It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of you and to serve the American people under the leadership of President Obama and four Commerce Department secretaries, including Secretary Pritzker.

    During my tenure as National Director, we worked to help the U.S. economy rebound from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Like nearly every other federal agency, MBDA carried out its work under flat or reduced budgets, all while the demand for Agency services continued to increase. Despite these challenges, we experienced one of the most productive periods in Agency history. We increased funding for our national business center program for the first time in 15 years and we provided targeted support to our clients in the areas of manufacturing, healthcare technology, government contracting and exporting. We also increased bottom-line support for minority-owned firms by helping them get over $19 billion in capital and contract awards, resulting in the creation and/or retention of over 50,000 jobs.

  • Submitted on 10 December 2013

    Created on December 10, 2013

    David Hinson, National DirectorOne of the real joys of the holiday season is having the opportunity to say thank you. As the year ends and the Agency reflects on all the things we are grateful for, MBDA’s relationship with you, our stakeholders, is especially treasured. Your continued partnership throughout this year has greatly contributed to our success in increasing the growth and global competitiveness of minority-owned businesses.

    MBDA is proud to have reached a number of special milestones this year. In particular: we awarded $7.3 million in grants to boost job creation through the funding of seven new MBDA Business Centers; we made a supplemental investment of $625,000 to five existing MBDA Business Centers to better serve minority business communities nationwide; we launched a national webinar series that highlighted the resources of the government in support of international trade, federal contracting, and industry specific initiatives; and, we commemorated a 31-year history of celebrating minority-owned businesses and stakeholders during National Minority Enterprise Week, December 1-7, 2013, as designated by Presidential Proclamation.


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