MBDA Announces a $5 Million Investment to Fund Advanced Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has announced a competitive solicitation for candidates interested in operating four new MBDA advanced manufacturing projects. MBDA will award four cooperative agreements totaling $5 million during a five-year period, and the projects can be operated in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
The projects will provide targeted assistance to minority manufacturers to increase the number of “Made in America” products that can be sold domestically and globally. The project funding is designed to help identify, screen, promote, and refer minority business enterprises (MBEs) to specialized advanced manufacturing programs, and provide technical and business development services.
“These projects are essential to supporting minority-owned businesses and helping them excel in the areas of innovative technology that create high quality manufacturing jobs,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “There is a great need for more minority manufacturers and we want to help cultivate the talent that exists in our minority communities.” 
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, the number of minority-manufacturers increased 30 percent between 2007 and 2012 to nearly 107,000. These firms generated $80 billion in annual receipts in 2012.  Twenty-five thousand minority manufacturers employ almost 332,000 workers. The project is part of the Agency’s commitment to ensuring minority businesses are playing an integral part in keeping the ‘Made in America’ product strong as the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to rise.

MBDA invites applications from for-profit entities, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, American Indian tribes and educational institutions to apply to operate the MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Project. Applications are due June 17, 2016.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the minority business sector and strategies for enhancing MBE growth and expansion related to advanced manufacturing and/or manufacturing industry.
  • Experience working with MBE manufacturers and facilitation to include, but not limited to, capital and contracts for the MBE manufacturers.
  • Knowledge of and experience in public and private sector contracting opportunities for MBEs, as well as demonstrated experience in assisting clients into supply chains.
  • Professional working relationships and networks with potential sources of contracts for MBEs.
  • Experience with facilitating large contract/procurement deals on behalf of minority manufacturing firms, conducting business matchmaking forums, and assisting MBEs with the establishment of joint ventures and teaming arrangements.
  • Experience in successfully preparing and matching MBEs with traditional sources of capital, alternative sources of financing (e.g., equity and venture capital), loan and bonding packages, and mergers and acquisitions.

More information can be found at www.grants.gov or www.mbda.gov.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA, www.mbda.gov, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Our programs and services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Services are provided through a network of MBDA Business Centers. After 45 years of service, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that build size, scale and capacity through access to capital, contracts and markets. Follow us on Twitter @usmbda.