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News and Announcements


  • Submitted on 18 April 2016

    Hannover Messe is the world’s largest industrial technology trade fair and for the first time in the fair’s modern history, the United States is the official partner country.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), will join President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and top business leaders from around the world at the Hannover Messe trade fair April 25 - 29, 2016 in Hannover, Germany. 

    MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo will lead a delegation of minority business owners and stakeholders to demonstrate not only the value of minority business enterprises’ (MBEs) products and services, but also opportunities to advance transatlantic trade and access to U.S. markets through collaboration with minority businesses.

  • Submitted on 13 April 2016

    The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), along with other federal agencies, state economic development organizations and universities, will join top business leaders from around the world for Hannover Messe.  MBDA assembled a group of minority business owners and stakeholders to demonstrate not only the value of MBE products and services, but also opportunities to advance transatlantic trade and access to U.S. markets through collaboration with minority businesses.

  • Submitted on 23 March 2016

    Honoring minority women entrepreneurs, the fastest growing segment of the economy, during Women's History Month

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2016) -  March is Women's History Month and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has partnered with Walker's Legacy, a global women in business collective named in honor of Madam C. J. Walker, to celebrate the contributions of women of color in business at the #WLPower50 Summit on March 26, 2016.   The #WLPower50 Summit is the largest celebration of business and professional women put forth by Walker's Legacy.

    The partnership will include jointly produced educational panels on launching start-ups and keynote presentations from successful female entrepreneurs, MBDA will provide one-on-one business consulting services to more than two hundred expected attendees at the 2016 #WLPower50 Summit.  The summit will also acknowledge the #WLPower50 List Honorees of business and professional women, which were released last week.

  • Submitted on 22 March 2016

    America’s manufacturing sector is undergoing rapid change and innovation, incorporating hi-tech advancements across all sectors of the industry.

    What do these changes mean for minority-owned manufacturers? How are they meeting the demands and partnering with other manufacturers and customers to incorporate innovation into their operations?

  • Submitted on 04 March 2016

    Black business ownership is on the rise.

    The number of black or African American-owned firms grew 34.5 percent between 2007 and 2012 — from 1.9 million to 2.6 million in 2012. In contrast, the total number of firms in the United States increased  2.0 percent during the same period, from 27.1 million in 2007 to 27.6 million in 2012. However, the proportion of black or African American-owned businesses account for 9.4 percent of all firms, which is still below the 13.1 percent black or African American share of the U.S. adult population (according to the Census Bureau’s July 1, 2012, population estimates).

  • Submitted on 08 February 2016

    25 Grants Issued through the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to Spur Capacity-Building and Access to Capital for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the 25 awardees that will receive $10 million under the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The 2015 RIS program is managed by EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) and is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through two different competitions: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants competition.

  • Submitted on 07 February 2016

    The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is part of the Department of Commerce. The Agency’’s mandate is to help strengthen and grow America’s minority owned enterprises. While the Agency provides many services to small businesses, it is not exclusively focused on helping small business. The goal is to help all minority owned businesses grow in size and scale.This might be the reason why the Agency is less known in the small business community than other government funded small business organizations. Organizations such as SCORE, SBDC, and WBC are exclusively dedicated to small businesses.  Also, many of the services offered by the MBDA are very different than those organizations. One area of difference is related to exports. The MBDA can help a minority business determine what markets are best for exporting, help the business make local contacts, and assist in finding financing for any deal.

    I had a chance to interview Alejandra Y. Castillo, the National Director of the MBDA. The interview was set-up through Funding Circle which had just announced a partnership with the MBDA. In the coming months, Funding Circle and the MBDA will be working together on developing financing tools and educational materials that focus on access to alternative capital, business strategy and every business owner’s right to fair and transparent financing.  Funding Circle is a marketplace for small business loans. To date, 12,000 small businesses have borrowed more than $1.5 billion through Funding Circle’s marketplace. Funding Circle offers fixed rate, 1 – 5 year term loans from $25,000 – $500,000 with rates starting at 5.49 percent.

  • Submitted on 02 February 2016

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today opened a competition to award new cooperative funding agreements for its Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The competition continues a multiyear effort to update the program’s funding structure to better match manufacturing industry needs with resources in MEP's nationwide network. The MEP centers help small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase profits and save time and money.

  • Submitted on 01 February 2016

    America's greatness is a testament to generations of courageous individuals who, in the face of uncomfortable truths, accepted that the work of perfecting our Nation is unending and strived to expand the reach of freedom to all. For too long, our most basic liberties had been denied to African Americans, and today, we pay tribute to countless good-hearted citizens -- along the Underground Railroad, aboard a bus in Alabama, and all across our country -- who stood up and sat in to help right the wrongs of our past and extend the promise of America to all our people. During National African American History Month, we recognize these champions of justice and the sacrifices they made to bring us to this point, we honor the contributions of African Americans since our country's beginning, and we recommit to reaching for a day when no person is judged by anything but the content of their character.

  • Submitted on 26 January 2016

    During the week of September 19, 2016, on the occasion of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of Commerce will co-host the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on increased trade and investment between the U.S. and African nations. The U.S.-Africa Business Forum will build on the progress of the inaugural Forum, held during the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with the participation of nearly 50 heads of state or government and more than 150 global CEOs – to further develop trade and business opportunities between the United States and Africa. 

 

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