Conference to Help Expand Global Reach For Minority-Owned Firms


Monday, August 23, 2010

Conference to Help Expand Global Reach For Minority-Owned Firms

WASHINGTON (July 26, 2010) -- The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) kicks off its 28th annual National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference today at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The conference will focus on “Strategies for Growth and Competitiveness in the Global Economy.” More information about the conference can be found at

Throughout MED Week, attendees will receive information on the President’s National Export Initiative and develop skills to become export ready.  In addition, sessions are aimed at increasing opportunities for minority-owned firms in federal contracting, as well as contract opportunities for Haiti reconstruction.  The week will culminate with an awards gala Friday night where MBDA and the Small Business Administration will honor minority-owned firms for their excellence.

Speakers throughout the week include U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen G. Mills, U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Dennis Hightower, MBDA National Director David Hinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez, among others.

Media interested in attending the MED Week conference should register by emailing

Please find below the conference schedule at-a-glance:


International Trade Day 

Palladian Ballroom 

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.

Speakers include:

  • David A. Hinson, National Director, MBDA
  • Javier Palomarez, President and CEO, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Joseph Hurd, Senior Director for Trade Policy and Export Promotion, International Trade Administration

This session will provide a comprehensive approach to understanding how to do business internationally.

Supporting the National Export Initiative through MBDA’s Global Market Initiative

Palladian Ballroom

9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

This session is an opportunity to learn more about MBDA’s efforts to globalize the minority business community.

U.S.and Foreign Commercial Service and the USA Trade Promotion Programs: Expanding Market Opportunities Abroad

Palladian Ballroom

10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

This session will highlight the opportunities and resources available through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Bolstering U.S. Industry Global Competitiveness – Manufacturing Services (Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

Palladian Ballroom

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

This session will highlight international manufacturing opportunities.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC): SME Investment Financing

Palladian Ballroom

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

OPIC will provide an overview of its Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Financing Program and Training targeted at loan origination requirements.

EX-IM Bank: Export Financing to Help U.S. Exporters Maximize Borrowing Potential

Palladian Ballroom

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank will share insight on how its working capital financing enables U.S. exporters to obtain loans that facilitate the export of goods and services.


National Export Initiative Overview

Regency Ballroom

8:30 a.m.-9:20 a.m.

Speakers include:

  • David A. Hinson, National Director, MBDA
  • Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Director Hinson will outline the current state of minority-owned business and highlight the future impact minority-owned firms will have on the success of the American economy.

In addition, Under Secretary Sánchez will discuss the National Export Initiative and provide insight on the priorities of the International Trade Administration and its impact on small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

Trade Fairs and Trade Missions as Your Door to Global Markets

Regency Ballroom

9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

This session will highlight the benefits of international trade fairs as a mechanism for strengthening international trade, creating valuable business-to-business alliances, and generating economic productivity for minority-owned firms in the United States.

Global Supply Chain: Merging Public and Private Sector Efforts for Supply Chain Capacity Building

Regency Ballroom

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Panelists will share insight and a global perspective of the mastery of supply chains, including knowledge of the different types of supply chains, challenges and cutting-edge solutions.

International Financing Alternatives

Regency Ballroom

1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Panelists will share information on the variety of financial resources available for doing business internationally.

Winning Government Contracts For Your Small Business

Regency Ballroom

2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

This workshop offers a step-by-step approach to the process of doing business with the government. 


Meet your White House

Regency Ballroom

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. 

Speakers include:

  • David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Under Secretary Kappos will discuss the role of minority-owned firms in innovation and the importance of protecting intellectual property, particularly in global markets.

The Legal and Financial Considerations of Joint Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions

Regency Ballroom

10:15 a.m. -11:15 a.m.

Panelists will share examples of how joint ventures, along with mergers and acquisitions, have been used to expand small- and medium-sized firms both domestically and internationally.

U.S. Small Business Administrator Presents - Small Business Awards

Regency Ballroom

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Speakers include:

  • Karen G. Mills, Administrator, Small Business Administration
  • Joseph G. Jordan, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development, Small Business Administration

Administrator Mills will discuss how the SBA helps small minority-owned firms grow and succeed.  She will also present awards in recognition of small businesses.

Trends in Bonding, Financing and Wealth Management

Regency Ballroom

1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

This panel will highlight new proposals for tribal development bond financing, challenges to tribal project financing, and proposals to increase access to surety bond financing.

Federal Contracting Initiative

Diplomat Ballroom

1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.

Panelists will share information on the Federal Contracting Initiative and the bottom-line benefit for small- and minority-owned businesses.

Marketing to the Federal Government

Palladian Ballroom

1:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

This session will provide a marketing template for use by small businesses to enhance and improve their efforts in marketing to the federal government.

Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Business Initiatives and Opportunities

Regency Ballroom

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Panelists will discuss implications and opportunities in federal contracting for service–disabled, veteran-owned businesses.  They will also share information on the Mentor-Protégé Program Expanded to Service-Disabled Veterans and HUBZones and how minority-owned firms can partner.

The Power of Business in Indian Country

Diplomat Ballroom

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

This session will focus on the strategies and advantages of doing business with Tribal Nations and Tribal Business Entities. Through joint ventures, investment, mergers and acquisitions, there are tremendous opportunities to partner with Native businesses.

Haiti Reconstruction Opportunities

Regency Ballroom

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

This workshop will inform minority business enterprise firms seeking to understand opportunities how to engage in the reconstruction in Haiti.

CommerceConnect – Understanding How to Take Advantage of U.S. Department of Commerce Resources

Diplomat Ballroom

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

This forum will explore the vast array of programs and resources within the U.S. Department of Commerce.


MED Week Opening Remarks

Regency Ballroom

9:00 a.m -10:00 a.m.

Speakers include:

  • David A. Hinson, National Director, MBDA
  • John Fernandez, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
  • Robert Wallace, author and CEO, BITHGROUP Technologies, Inc., Entreteach Learning Systems, LLC and BITH Energy

During this session, Assistant Secretary Fernandez will discuss the Economic Development Administration’s efforts to promote competitiveness and prepare American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Remarks from U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

Regency Ballroom

10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Secretary Locke will discuss how the National Export Initiative will build a stronger economic foundation for the United States to return to sustainable economic growth and job creation. 

MED Week Awards Gala

Regency Ballroom

7:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m.

Speakers include:

  • Dennis F. Hightower, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  • David A. Hinson, National Director, MBDA
  • Litefoot, Native American entrepreneur, entertainer and activist
  • Tony McGee, former NFL player and current President and CEO, HNM Corporation

Deputy Secretary Hightower will highlight the impact of minority-owned firms on the global economy and thank the MED Week award winners for their hard work.

All events listed above are open to the press.  For more information or to register, please contact Lahne Mattas-Curry at

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA,, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the minority business community making them better equipped to create jobs, impact local economies and compete successfully in domestic and global marketplaces.  With a nationwide network of more than 45 business centers and strategic partners, MBDA assists minority entrepreneurs and business owners with consulting services, contract and financing opportunities, bonding and certification services, building business-to-business alliances and executive training.

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