Posted at 5:55 AM
Created on August 11, 2015
Entrepreneurs are the driving force of our 21st century economy. They have the power to spur innovation, create jobs, stabilize communities, and inspire the next generation of inventors.
At the Department of Commerce, it is our goal to create the economic conditions that allow start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed. While we meet this goal through a wide variety of Department initiatives, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) focuses on accessing and engaging the talents and inventiveness of all our citizens through inclusive innovation efforts. Inclusive entrepreneurship and inclusive innovation means that every American, regardless of their background or past, has the opportunity to engage the marketplace and offer their goods, services, gifts, and talents to the world.
Currently, there are more than 5.8 million minority-owned businesses nationwide that contribute over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. Our goal at the MBDA is to assist entrepreneurs of all backgrounds by:
Providing access to contracts, capital, and markets to minority business enterprises;
Advocating that minority entrepreneurs join all tables of industry, government and community leadership; and
Introducing minority entrepreneurs to the information and resources of the federal government.
Recently, the MBDA participated in the Commerce Department’s first-ever Open for Innovation event. The event provided the opportunity for more than 80 startups to pitch their most innovative idea to solve a complex business challenge from one of eight established corporations. We had more than 25 minority-owned businesses participate in the event. These business represented various technology industries including mobile and app development, supplier diversity digital platforms, and innovative sports management software.
As the first Open for Innovation event taught us, ideas can come from anybody, anywhere, and can be inspired by any life experience. The entrepreneurs that participated in the event, remind us that our nation has a storied legacy of entrepreneurship, productivity and innovation – what this latest wave of entrepreneurial innovation offers is a fuller reflection of American greatness.
Throughout this week, we will feature videos of entrepreneurs telling their story about the power of inclusive innovation and how the MBDA and Department of Commerce have helped support their business.
Check back in every day at Commerce.gov to hear directly from our amazing innovators and their journeys.
This post originally appeared on Commerce.gov.