AAPI Business Owners, Leaders and Partners Share Successes and Lessons Learned during MBDA’s National AAPI Business Summit

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Handshakes, hugs and a flurry of business cards greeted many of the attendees upon their arrival to the 2017 National AAPI Business Summit held earlier this week at the Department of Commerce.

Hosted by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE), the free business summit was designed to recognize Asian- American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and spotlight AAPI business successes past and present. More than 200 AAPI business owners, leaders and partners from across the Nation attended the event held inside of the Commerce auditorium.

After opening remarks from MBDA and National ACE senior leaders, the summit kicked off with a series of interactive discussions focused on celebrating AAPI business success, successful customer/supplier relationships, the state of AAPI business and entrepreneurship and National ACE NextGen Circle: challenges & successes.

Attendees heard from successful AAPI business owners, shared best practices on collaboration with federal and private corporations, learned about federal government services available to support the growth of their businesses and discussed issues facing AAPI businesses across the nation in accessing contracts, capital and global markets. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in question and answer sessions and power networking with government officials and fellow AAPI business owners and partners.

During the group discussions, summit speakers focused on the importance of networking and building communities while growing your business, having an entrepreneurial mindset and seeking solutions to overcome business challenges. AAPI business owners were also encouraged to share their individual stories and experiences to help others navigate the ins and outs of their entrepreneurial journey. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in power networking sessions with government officials and AAPI business owners, leaders and professionals.

In between sessions, Senior White House Advisor Eric Branstad and White House Liaison Todd Abrajano provided remarks to the audience on behalf of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Congresswoman Judy Chu also spoke during the afternoon portion of the program.

This was the second year in a row that MBDA and National ACE collaborated to plan and host the National AAPI Business Summit.  In April 2016, The National ACE and MBDA became strategic partners through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement is structured to help both MBDA and ACE increase awareness within the AAPI community of business opportunities in areas such as trade, exporting, and contracting through trainings, roundtables, events and webinars.

For more information about National ACE visit http://nationalace.org/