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Minority Business Development Agency Awards $5.1 million in Grants

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MBDA Awards $5.1M in Grants
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MBDA Awards $5.1M in Grants
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MBDA Awards $5.1M in Grants
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Three new programs join the national network


Entrepreneurship Education for Formerly Incarcerated Persons

is committed to leveraging its capabilities to help reduce crime and increase opportunities to improve the lives of all Americans. Grant awards will fund innovative projects to support formerly incarcerated individuals with entrepreneurship assistance including (but not limited to): (1) educational programs and workshops; (2) entrepreneurial training; and (3) coaching assistance.

  • Columbia, SC: DESA, Inc. will develop uniquely tailored programs to help resolve identity issues, prioritize expungement options, secure temporary employment, and incorporate one-on-one coaching for entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Los Angeles, CA: Defy Ventures will advance its Entrepreneurship Pathway for Formerly Incarcerated Minorities program, which offers executive mentorship, supportive peers, workshops, and training.
  • Baltimore, MD: Morgan State University will implement a three-phase program to provide options for participants to focus on entrepreneurial training (launch), working with business advisors to address challenges (sustain), or working with seasoned entrepreneurs on future work plans (growth).
  • Birmingham, AL: The Dannon Project will advance their FLEE program-Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Education- to offer entrepreneurial programs and business coaching as a pathway to successful community reentry.
View the full grant announcement here.

MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center

MBDA provided grant awards to fund Business Centers with a particular focus on supporting minority women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and its territories to build their businesses, secure contracts and capital, and increase employment opportunities. The primary drivers of the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center are: (1) capacity building and (2) job creation/retention resulting from facilitating contracts and financing for minority women-owned firms.

  • Washington, DC: MP Services, LLC will provide unique, specialized training and guidance to support minority women owned businesses by providing entrepreneurship promotion, including educational workshops, network opportunities and training sessions.
  • Atlanta, GA: Operation HOPE to focus on advancing women of color entrepreneurs in key growth industries including tech, exports, food service, ecommerce, transportation, and manufacturing.
  • Washington, DC: Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. will offer business development services, including access to its award-winning Ascend Capital Accelerator a female-focused accelerator that provides 10 to 12 weeks of asset-based development consisting of an interactive workshop series combined with small group matching and individualized support.
    • Washington Area Community Investment Fund Inc.
      2012 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
      Washington, DC 20018
  • Metairie, LA: Women’s Business Enterprise Council South to establish cutting-edge trainings, access to capital assistance, networking, and procurement opportunities especially for minority women-owned business enterprises.
    • Women's Business Enterprise Council South
      2800 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Suite 180
      Metairie, LA 70002
  • Honolulu, HI: Young Women's Christian Association of Oahu will offer one-on-one business counseling, innovative workshops, and minority certification training offered in safe, nurturing, and empowering environments.
    • Young Women's Christian Association of Oahu
      1040 Richards Street
      Honolulu, HI 96813 
View the full grant announcement here.

Inner City Innovation Hubs

MBDA provided grant awards to fund programs that support and provide technical and management education to entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with innovative products or services in inner city areas with high concentrations of minority persons and minority-owned businesses.

  • Atlanta, GA: Georgia Tech Research Corporation will provide access to collaborative workspaces for minority business owners to convene and connect both to incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. This is in addition to university-focused technology, artificial intelligence, technology, research, mergers, and acquisitions.
  • Houston, TX: William Marsh Rice University to develop the Aerospace Innovation Hub (ASCI-Hub) designed to engage, support, develop, and scale regional minority business enterprises that address needs, problems, and challenges in the aerospace industry.
    • William Marsh Rice University
      6100 Main Street
      Houston, TX 77251
View the full grant announcement here.
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