WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) will host its first-ever National Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Business Summit on Wednesday, May 25.
“In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this Summit will highlight the Obama administration’s firm commitment to supporting diverse businesses,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “We look forward to hosting a broad array of enterprises from across the nation here at the Department of Commerce to help expand their economic footprint and provide greater partnership opportunities.”
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, there are 1.9 million Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses that employ 3.6 million people and garner $699.5 billion in revenue.
By the year 2044, people of color will make up a majority of the U.S. population. These demographic shifts are diversifying the face of American businesses.
The Summit is part of ongoing outreach efforts led by the WHIAAPI, which is housed within the Department of Education, to improve the quality of life and opportunities for AAPIs by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs, where AAPIs remain underserved.
“The National AAPI Business Summit is a culmination of direct engagement between MBDA and AAPI businesses. It’s a great example of a federal agency creating unique partnerships and programming to serve small business owners who are seeking greater access to the federal government. We’re proud to be a partner and support this effort,” said White House Initiative on AAPIs Executive Director Doua Thor. In 2014, MBDA established a memorandum of understanding with WHIAAPI. Through this partnership, MBDA uses its resources and programs to advocate for the AAPI business community on behalf of WHIAAPI.
“MBDA is proud to show our support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander business community, and to also help foster an environment that encourages inclusivity and dialogue,” said MBDA Deputy Director Albert K. Shen. “This type of convening highlights MBDA’s mission to grow America’s Minority Business Enterprises.”
During the Summit, attendees will learn about government services available to support their businesses and share best practices. The Summit will also provide a public forum for addressing issues faced by AAPI businesses across the nation, including access to contracts, capital, and global markets. There will also be several networking opportunities available with government officials, business owners, and professionals.
To register for the National AAPI Business Summit, visit http://www.mbda.gov/AAPIBizSummit.