Minority Business Development Agency Awards $1.8 Million To Tackle Opportunity Gaps

for immediate release

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is announcing the five organizations that received grant funds to support three MBDA initiatives – Access to Capital, Research, and Sustainable Business Models. The call for proposals under each initiative sought solutions for constraints, disparities, and opportunity gaps that impact a minority business enterprises’ (MBEs) ability to build scale and capacity and ensure business sustainability.

“MBDA is focused on creating new opportunities for minority-owned businesses,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II. “Providing greater access to financial resources, data analytics, and world-class business models will help companies grow to scale and remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

The grant recipients include:

Access to Capital:

  • Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation ($400,000) to facilitate MBEs receiving equal opportunity to participate in the opportunity zones provisions.
  • National Association of Investment Companies, Inc. ($350,000) to provide diverse investment managers innovative and proven methods for greater exposure to increase the likelihood of MBE firms receiving capital from public and private institutions.
  • The Enterprise Center ($500,000) to introduce new financing and investment models and provide patient growth capital to help MBEs hire more local employees and build their businesses to be more stable, competitive, and profitable for the long term.


  • Research Foundation of the City University of New York ($200,000) to create an interactive visual database that maps the journey of minority entrepreneurs from inception to funding.

Sustainable Business Model:

  • Metropolitan Economic Development Association ($382,896) to develop a playbook for developing sustainable revenue generation for other minority development organizations with a focus on merger and acquisition consulting, accounting services, and loan servicing.

These programs are part of the 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement, a new initiative this year. More than $13 million was awarded for 35 projects focused on Department of Commerce and MBDA priorities from resources that increase disaster preparedness and relief to programs that increase access to capital. For a full listing of MBDA’s 2018 grant awards, visit www.mbda.gov/news.

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 through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research. Our services provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets and better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally.