Posted at 8:00 AM
Good Morning! On behalf of President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, I want to thank you for having me here today.
I’d like to take a moment to thank NMSDC for extending this wonderful invitation, specifically Ms. Harriet Michel, President and CEO and Mr. Steve Sims, Vice President for Programs and Field Operations. Their compassion and commitment to the growth of the minority business community is unparalleled.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank the entire staff at NMSDC and the numerous corporate sponsors who helped to make this event a success. But most of all, I want to thank the entrepreneurs and business owners here today, who are indeed the backbone of our nation and who continue to hang in during these very difficult times.
It is your unwillingness to flinch in the face of this economic downturn that is putting food on the tables of millions of workers nationwide and ensuring that their families remain hopeful as our economy adjusts to the impact of mistakes of the past. For this, you deserve our praise.
Many of you may not know but MBDA and NMSDC’s histories are intertwined. We were both born in the aftermath of social and economic turmoil throughout the nation.
MBDA was, and continues to be, the only federal agency with the sole task of promoting the growth and global competitiveness of the minority business community. NMSDC with the support of MBDA then began to encourage major corporations to adopt and implement programs to increase the purchase of goods and services from minority businesses.
Over the past 40 years, both organizations have worked together to help thousands of minority-owned businesses grow.
Currently, MBDA manages 46 centers nationwide. We provide technical assistance, and access to relationships, contacts and capital to minority businesses of all sizes.
In 2008, MBDA generated more than $2 billion in contracts and financing for our clients and created more than 5,000 new jobs. This gives us a Return on Investment (ROI) of 74 times. In other words, for every tax payer dollar put into MBDA, we create $74 of economic output. Year-to-date, we have executed over $2.5 billion in contracts and financing and created nearly 3,000 new jobs in what has been an extremely challenging year for minority-owned businesses.
While the minority business community is composed of more than 4 million firms, generates $660 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 5 million workers nationwide, our goal is economic parity.
If the minority business community achieves economic parity, that is business activity consistent with our population percentages – there would be over 6.5 million minority-owned firms, generating more than $2.5 trillion in annual revenues, creating 16 million new jobs and expanding the tax base by more than $100 billion per year.
To put that in perspective, at economic parity the minority business community would be larger than the economies of Russia, Italy or Spain. But to achieve economic parity, we need to strengthen the private public partnership.
Government agencies need to work more closely together to provide a seamless service offering and easier access to government contracting opportunities.
In this respect MBDA, is taking a leadership role in integrating our activities with both Department of Commerce agencies and other government entities.
Corporations need to expand the contracting opportunities that are available to minority-owned firms and assist these firms in accessing their global supply chains.
And minority-owned firms must take the active steps to grow larger…. and grow larger faster. You must consider moving away from traditional growth models and embrace the growth models of the future: growth through joint venture; growth through strategic partnership; and growth through merger and acquisition.
You must move away from a sole ownership psychology and embrace a strategic partnership psychology. You must move away from service-oriented businesses and embrace the growth industries of the future: alternative energy, like wind and solar power; Green technology, such as environmentally responsible products and services; and Healthcare IT.
Finally, you must consider globalizing your business. Indeed, participation in the global supply chain of the nation’s largest corporations requires that you have this capability. Minority businesses are uniquely positioned to reach global markets and while they may seem a long way from New Orleans, the economic opportunity is right here before you.
In all these areas, MBDA is here to help. If you are looking for strategic partnership or merger and or acquisition candidates, reach out to our national network of business development centers.
If you are interested in globalizing your business speak to one of our regional directors many of whom are at this event. Would the regional directors here in the room please stand!
And if you desire to build the relationships that lead to contracts and financings, build a relationship with us.
During the Presidential campaign, then Senator Obama spoke eloquently about the “fierce urgency of now.”
He often said that we are the people that we have been waiting for.
I deeply believe in these principals. Today, we have a window of opportunity to change the world. We can create an entire generation of $100 million and larger minority-owned businesses across industries.
We can increase the wealth base and alleviate the problems of chronic unemployment our communities. And we can set this nation on a growth trajectory never before seen.
I ask that you join me in this endeavor to make the minority business community achieve the level of greatness that we all desire it to have.
Are you with me?
Now let’s go out and change the world!
MBDA Public Affairs