Posted at 9:24 AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Thank you for the kind introduction.
It’s my pleasure to be here this afternoon on behalf of the Minority Business Development Agency, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As new national recognition is being given to the growth and success of minority-owned businesses as leaders in job creation, MBDA has stepped up its game and added more efficiencies through the 40 MBDA Business Centers across the country that work with minority businesses of all sizes.
MBDA helps minority-owned firms create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic and global marketplaces. In a nutshell, we provide access to capital, access to contracts and access to markets.
The first way MBDA can help is access to contracts. Whether you are interested in doing business in the private sector or with the government, having access to decision makers in procurement helps pave the way to success. MBDA’s Business Development Specialists in our national network of MBDA Business Centers can assist you in this effort.
Despite a challenging economic environment, last year MBDA supported the creation of 5,787 new jobs and saved thousands of existing jobs by helping minority-owned firms gain access to nearly $4 billion in contracts and capital. It was a third record-breaking year in a row. In fact, for the three-year period of the Obama Administration and during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, we helped create 16,300 new jobs by assisting minority-owned firms in obtaining nearly $11 billion in contracts and capital. This supports one of our major objectives -- to increase annual revenues for minority-owned firms from an average of $200,000 to more than $1 million.
The Federal Government has a number of avenues for interaction with small and mid-tier businesses. Though MBDA itself does not have procurement opportunities, it is still actively engaging small and mid-tier minority-owned firms in the federal contracting process with clear success. In FY 2011, MBDA assisted firms obtain $500 million in federal contracts. For example HELIX Enterprises, Inc., a minority-owned general contractor headquartered in Maryland that provides construction management, facility maintenance, engineering services and audio visual services.
The MBDA Business Center in Washington, DC has been working with the company since its inception, helping to secure bonding for contracts with the federal government and the private sector, as well as securing contracts with various federal agencies. The center assisted Helix in securing $87.8 million in financing in the past year. In the five years that Helix has been a client, the center has assisted the company in securing more than $200 million in financing and at least $100 million in contract awards.
Our Phoenix MBDA Business Center has worked with Andale Construction with certifications and marketing. As a result, Andale negotiated a Mentor-Protégé Agreement with Sundt Construction, which enabled Andale to secure two large contracts with the U.S. Department of Navy, for $31.6 million and $39.9 million, creating 380 new jobs.
Another very important resource for MBEs is our recently launched MBDA Federal Procurement Center in Washington, DC. This Center is the direct result of President Obama’s pledge to expand contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses. And it is the first business center of its type in the nation that will assist minority-owned businesses in competing for and winning federal government contracts. In 2010, the U.S. Government awarded $431 billion in contracts, of which 8 percent went to small disadvantaged businesses. Our objective in establishing this center is to increase that share.
Specific services offered by the center include: research and education, identification of upcoming federal procurement opportunities, matching of minority business client capabilities and procurement opportunities, and linking minority-owned businesses with other companies for potential partnerships.
MBDA also utilizes online tools such as its Phoenix-Opportunity Database to assist our client firms stay abreast of procurement opportunities. Phoenix-Opportunity Database, which is linked to FedBizOpps, helps to match MBEs registered with MBDA to available public and private sector contracting opportunities. Using this system, MBEs input their profiles into the system accessible on the MBDA website (www.mbda.gov). Contracting officers throughout the Federal, state, and local Government as well private sector procurement officers can use this system to upload notices of their contract opportunities into the MBDA Opportunity database.
The system then matches each contract opportunity with MBEs meeting the requirements of the solicitation. After a match is made, the system generates an e-mail notification to each of the matched minority companies. This notice will provide the MBEs with all of the relevant information including: name and contact information for the contracting officer, a brief description of the project, and the open/close dates.
The second way MBDA can help is providing access to capital. MBDA promotes economic investment in our clients and in the minority business sector. Each MBDA Center secures an average of $46 million dollars’ worth of capital for minority-owned firms. Last year the Agency, even in a tight economy, secured nearly $2 billion dollars in financial packages.
From loans to bonding and private equity and venture capital, our business development specialists are able to assist minority business owners with the financing they need. Adequate access to capital creates an environment for business growth and success.
The third way MBDA can help is access to new markets. More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside the borders of the United States ….and MBDA can help you reach those markets. Through the National Export Initiative which focuses on doubling exports over the next five years, minority firms are being recruited to go global. MBDA works closely with the International Trade Administration to promote business-to-business partnerships between U.S firms and firms in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. These are markets minority-owned firms should consider in their growth strategy.
Our communities, our country, and the global economy depend on the success of the minority business community. MBDA is here and ready to help you whether you need access to contracts, access to capital or access to new markets. We have business development specialists ready to assist you.
I encourage each of the business owners in the room today to visit an MBDA minority business center and to get involved with MBDA. Thank you!