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In 2010, MBDA achieved substantial agency wide level results including several that were of historic nature. Establishment of the first MBDA-led National Advisory Council in nearly 40 years In early 2010, MBDA petitioned U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to establish a secretarial-level advisory council on minority business enterprises. On November 3, 2010, the Secretary approved the creation of the National Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprise (NACMBE).
The NACMBE is the first Secretarial-level advisory council for minority-owned businesses in nearly 40 years. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary on a broad range of policy issues affecting the minority business community as part of the Obama Administration’s focus on creating new jobs and strengthening the U.S. economy. The NACMBE is composed of chief executive officers of Fortune 500 corporations, chief executive officers of substantial minority-owned corporations and the presidents of national advocacy organizations.
Successful Launch of the MBDA Business Center Program
The strategic business consulting services provided by the MBDA Business Centers help create and retain jobs, many in communities hardest hit by the economic downturn.
Strategic Partnership with the National Urban League
In July 2010, MBDA and the National Urban League entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to support job creation by expanding both organizations’ capabilities to support entrepreneurship and economic growth within minority communities. In this effort, MBDA and the National Urban League Entrepreneurship Centers will pool their collective resources to support the growth of minority-owned firms located in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
MBDA refers early stage or start-up companies that come into the MBDA Business Center network to the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers so they may obtain the critical support needed to launch and stabilize their businesses. Conversely, the Urban League refers larger more established minority-owned firms to MBDA. The National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program expands MBDA’s reach to minority-owned firms in areas where it does not currently have a presence and service even more minority entrepreneurs in communities where a presence already exists.
In FY 2010, MBDA released a landmark study on disparities in capital access entitled Disparities in Capital Access between Minority and Non-Minority Firms: The Troubling Reality of Capital Limitations Faced by MBEs. Findings of the study were presented at many venues including: a U.S. Senate Congressional hearing, numerous Congressional briefings, the Maryland Governor’s Office on Minority Business Affairs’ MBE University Conference, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition Conference, the Kauffman Foundation Conference, Federal Reserve Bank Research Conference, and the Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers Conference.
Congressional Relations and Hearings
In FY 2010, MBDA maintained an active presence on Capitol Hill. MBDA held numerous meetings with individual Members of Congress and their staffs. In addition, MBDA National Director David A. Hinson appeared before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the full Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. MBDA staff across the country also participated in numerous events hosted by Members of Congress, including business fairs and seminars.
Development of Leading Edge Research on the Minority Business Community
MBDA produced leading-edge research on the minority business community in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. This research produced user-friendly statistical fact sheets, including: Minority-Owned Business Growth and Global Reach and Hispanic-Owned Business Growth and Global Reach. As more data is released from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, MBDA will produce additional fact sheets covering businesses owned by African-Americans, Asian- Americans, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaskan Natives. State fact sheets are also planned.
In FY 2010, MBDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Census Bureau for the purchase of additional cross tabulations of data from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, a key analytical tool. The cross tabulations will provide additional statistical data on the characteristics of minority-owned businesses, their exports, their capital usage, and the benefits that these companies bring to the U.S. economy.
Creation and launch of new, innovative, technology platform “Partnernet”
MBDA created and launched a new technology platform called Partnernet. This is the first technology platform of its type developed and deployed in the history of the Agency. Partnernet was developed to foster operational efficiency through knowledge sharing and collaboration among MBDA and its network of Centers. Partnernet also features an e-library, e-training module, best practices module, blogs, forums, chat room, members’ directory, business tools, and news.
Continued support for the Office of Native American Business Development
In 2010, MBDA continued its support for the Office of Native American Business Development (ONABD). The Office of Native American Business Development identifies economic opportunities in the areas of federal procurement, energy, manufacturing, international trade, and financial services for Native American businesses. MBDA also provides 100% of funding for the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on Native American Affairs.
Expanded National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference
MBDA, in collaboration with the Small Business Administration, dramatically expanded the Annual National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference held in Washington, D.C. This national conference, the largest government-sponsored conference for minority-owned businesses, provides minority owned and operated businesses access to policy makers, program managers, financial lenders, procurement officers, and various levels of capacity building and training.
In 2010, MBDA expanded MED Week to include export training, and for the first time, embassy-sponsored events. The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Embassy of Republic of South Africa hosted events for MED Week attendees. MBDA also secured a record $30 billion in procurement opportunities for the Business to- Business Expo. These opportunities were showcased to the over 1,500 companies that participated in the event.