Remarks by MBDA National Deputy Director Albert K. Shen at the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (ACE) New York Chapter Launch

October 29, 2014

National Deputy Director Albert K. Shen

Good evening and thank you CeFaan Kim for that kind introduction. 

I bring you greetings on behalf of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and the National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, Alejandra Castillo – it is my personal pleasure to be here with you this evening.

As a business owner in Seattle Washington for 15 years, I have the insight to speak both the language of business and the language of Washington, D.C. 

As National Deputy Director of MBDA, I am charged with building the kinds of bridges of opportunity and inclusion that ACE NY champions. 

We know that the demographic landscape of our country is changing and by extension, the face of American business is changing as well - and it looks like the faces that are in this room this evening. 

So our agency is redoubling its efforts to support minority businesses in three critical ways: 

  • Access to capital – we know that every minority business needs greater opportunity in access to the necessary resources to grow their businesses in size and scale and in 2013 MBDA helped secure over $1.5billion in capital and financing for clients. 

  • Access to markets – The fact is, 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States and minority owned firms have the most favorable export attributes of any sector of the U.S. economy. 

  • Why?  Minority businesses are twice as likely to export products and services; six times more likely to transact business in a language other than English; three times more likely to generate 100% of their revenue from exporting and more likely to have in place international operations.

  • Access to contracts – greater opportunities for larger, longer term contracts grow businesses.  When I was running my own consulting firm I got an opportunity to work on the SeaTac terminal expansion and it shifted my business from small to not-so-small.  These are the kinds of opportunities that the MBDA Business Centers make possible in partnership with our clients.

As our nation pulls itself through economic recovery, it is minority owned firms that have added 5.8 million jobs and added $1 trillion dollars in economic output. This is the added value and economic benefit of minority owned businesses.

As a Chinese American and the first generation of my family born here, I also appreciate the need and benefit of a chamber of commerce that specifically addresses the needs of the AAPI community.  

Our history in this country is peppered with tragedies and triumphs – yet, we are still here: determined, successful and daring to dream even bigger dreams than those planted in our hearts by previous generations.  We stand on their shoulders – whether from Shanghai or Hawaii; the Philippines or Taiwan; Hong Kong or Korea – their shoulders help us see farther and clearer. 

So when our children stand up and dare to dream an even bigger dream, we can say with pride and confidence – there is a network of support – there is a community of like-minded people who will help them and make sure that their preparation is stellar and their success is without question. 

This is the power of such an organization and this is the kind of effort that MBDA takes great pleasure in supporting:  the exponential advancement of minority business through committed commercial and cultural networks.

We wish you well and celebrate your establishment.

Thank you