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MBDA Acting Under Secretary Morrisette Joins the Department of Defense in Chicago for Small Business Training Week 2024


CHICAGO (May 3, 2024) – Eric Morrisette, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development, traveled to Chicago for the Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Training Week 2024 (SBTW24), where he met with Mr. Farooq Mitha, Director of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs for a fireside chat at the Hilton Chicago.   

During the chat, the two leaders discussed MBDA’s unique perspective on breaking down barriers for small business access in the minority business enterprise space, while building on the important missions both agencies shared in promoting economic access.   

“MBDA and the DoD Office of Small Business Programs play a crucial role in supporting the growth of small businesses, because their success strengthens our economy at large,” said Acting Under Secretary Morrissette.  “By equipping minority business enterprises with the tools and resources they need to access capital or otherwise grow their businesses, more families, businesses, and communities can thrive in a rapidly changing economy.”  

Themed, “Breaking Down Small Business Barriers: Strategies for Success and Igniting the Future,” SBTW24 enables DoD, Small Business Administration (SBA), and federal government small business professionals, program managers, acquisition professionals, and APEX Accelerator counselors to learn, build relationships, and share knowledge.  

“We look forward to continuing to establish a collaborative relationship with MBDA to help open more doors for contract opportunities for minority business enterprises at the Department of Defense,” said Mr. Farooq Mitha, Director of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs. “Understanding the gaps in access to procurement opportunities and how we can work together in closing them, is how we can break down barriers and do our part in promoting access.” 

More than 20 speakers from DoD, SBA, MBDA, and the General Services Administration briefed the over 800 SBTW24 attendees on new legislation, regulatory updates, policy changes, and best practices.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)  

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority business enterprises (MBEs). For more than 50 years, MBDA’s programs and services have better equipped MBEs to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues, and expand regionally, nationally, and internationally.