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  1. 2016 Highlights

2016 Highlights

In fiscal year 2016, through MDBA’s nationwide network of Business Centers, we have assisted clients in securing more than $3.3 billion in contracts and capital. This led to the creation and retention of nearly 14,800 U.S. jobs.

MBDA Invested $13.9 Million to Assist Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with Growing their Companies 

Grants to fund a nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers, and American Indian and Alaska Native Business Centers, were issued to local entities in 2016.  As part of the Agency’s alignment with national priorities, the Agency expanded its expertise in advance manufacturing, exports, federal procurement, and access to capital through the establishment of specialty centers that are available to all MBEs.  Pilot demonstrations, focused on youth entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and graduates of the SBA 8(a) program were also launched in 2016.

MBDA Launched The Inclusive Innovation Initiative to Increase Minority Access to Federal Government Innovation

MBDA announced the launch of the Agency’s new Inclusive Innovation Initiative (I-3)  in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.  I-3 is a national outreach effort aimed at increasing the participation of minority business enterprises (MBEs) and minority-serving institutions in the federal laboratory network. It’s designed to connect MBEs to valuable science, manufacturing and research resources in hundreds of federal labs across the United States.

MBDA Forged Alliances with Alternative Lenders to Give MBEs More Funding Options

In 2016, as Fintech services gained traction in the U.S. financial services and lending sector, MBDA was at the forefront to ensure MBEs are afforded more options for obtaining capital to sustain and grow their businesses.  To that end, MBDA signed an MOU with Fundation, an online based lender, who was active in hosting events with MBDA business centers in Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, St. Louis, San Francisco and Atlanta.  In addition to Fundation, MBDA signed an MOU with Funding Circle.

MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo led a delegation to Hannover Messe

MBDA joined President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and top business leaders from around the world at the Hannover Messe trade fair April 25 - 29, 2016 in Hannover, Germany.  National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo led a delegation of minority business owners and stakeholders to demonstrate not only the value of  MBEs products and services, but also opportunities to advance transatlantic trade and access to U.S. markets through collaboration with minority businesses. While at the trade show, MBDA led a U.S.-German policy roundtable titled Changing Demographics: Fostering Inclusive Entrepreneurship. With the ethnic, gender, and generational make-up rapidly changing in many countries around the world, this timely conversation focused on policies, programs and best practices to confront economic inequalities in immigrant, refugee and migrant populations through entrepreneurship.

MBDA Partnered with U.S. Census and The Kauffman Foundation to release first ever Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs

MBDA, in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, released the first ever Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. The survey, which highlights data from 2014, is designed to supplement the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO) conducted every five years. The most recent SBO data was conducted in 2012 and released in December 2015. The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs provides a detailed socio-economic portrait of the nation's employer businesses broken down by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status.

Tribal Consultations and Outreach to Native Hawaiians Conducted to Enhance Agency Effectiveness

In 2016, MBDA initiated a series of tribal consultations with federally recognized tribes, American Indian and Alaska Native business, trade, and economic organizations, and American Indian and Alaska Native-owned firms. The purpose of these tribal consultations was to provide a venue for tribal leaders to share insights, make recommendations, and discuss concerns regarding MBDA's business development and entrepreneurial services in Indian Country.  To identify policy issues unique to Native Hawaiian-owned businesses, MBDA conducted a series of meetings with government entities in Hawaii – including the Council for Native Hawaiian Advance, the Department of Hawaiian Homeland, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, City & County of Honolulu Office of Economic Development, Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone No. 9, Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, and others.

MBDA Assisted Federal Efforts to Address Economic Issues in Puerto Rico

Along with other Department of Commerce bureaus, MBDA briefed the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico as part of ongoing efforts to support the economic development and sustainability of Puerto Rico. A Task Force report, released in December 2016, identifies impediments to growth and recommends changes necessary in order to promote long-term economic growth and stability; spur new job creation; reduce child poverty; and attract investment in the territory. The report also includes recommendations for federal legislation that Congress can pass, policies and programs that Executive Branch agencies can use to help promote economic growth in Puerto Rico, and possible actions that the Government of Puerto Rico can take to make better use of federal funds, programs and technical assistance.

A Renewed Focus on Advocacy and Research in Support of Priority Issues for MBEs

In fulfillment of its mandate under the Executive Order 11625, MBDA took steps to ensure that policy and data are leading the Agency’s programs and initiatives. MBDA reinstated its advocacy efforts on behalf of MBEs nationwide by elevating Title VI enforcement in federal, state, and local contracting as a vehicle to promote fair and open competition. Federal agency officials, including the Department of Justice, were convened to discuss Title VI enforcement and Title VI workshops were conducted to MBE service providers.  The Agency also received congressional approval to create a policy unit to monitor and develop policy in support of the growth and global competitiveness of MBEs.

MBDA hosted a research roundtable convening a discussion of key issues that are important to academia and the business community.  In support of promulgating additional research, MBDA was at the forefront of data use, unveiling important trends and facts found by analyzing the Survey of Business Owners and MBE filing of patents and trademarks.  MBDA commissioned an in-depth review and analysis of 100 disparity studies to examine the barriers and factors that lead to disparities between minority-owned and nonminority-owned firms in public contracting.  The report, pending release, reveals that contracting barriers remain wide-spread across different ethnic and racial groups, industries and geographies.

MBDA Partnered with Essence to launch first ever Entrepreneurship Village during annual Essence Festival

MBDA partnered with Time Inc.’s Essence to launch the first ever “Leap, Run, Grow Entrepreneurship Village,” as part of the 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans. The Entrepreneurship Village was a part of Essence’s “Money+ Power” Expo and was designed to provide business access, insight, guidance and mentorship to minority entrepreneurs. Attendees had access to free financial empowerment seminars, pitch competitions, business boot camps, tech talk keynotes and a career and recruitment experience. The Entrepreneurship Village was part of the new MBDA-Essence partnership and just one of the Agency’s many initiatives designed to support African-American entrepreneurs, as well as more than eight million MBEs across the Nation.

Minority Business Development Agency Hosted First-Ever National AAPI Business Summit

MBDA and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) were hosts of the first-ever National Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Business Summit in May, 2016. The Summit was part of ongoing outreach effort led by the WHIAAPI to improve the quality of life and opportunities for AAPIs by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs, where AAPIs remain underserved. During the Summit, attendees learned about government services available to support their businesses and share best practices. The Summit also provided a public forum for addressing issues faced by AAPI businesses across the Nation, including access to contracts, capital, and global markets. There were also several networking opportunities available with government officials, business owners, and professionals.

MBDA Announces 2016 MED Week Award Winners

MBDA honored 19 organizations, businesses, and individuals who have demonstrated leadership, commitment and excellence in advancing the minority business community with the 2016 National Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards. The MED Week awards celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs based on challenges overcome, total revenue, jobs created, and the economic impact. MBDA also recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the advancement of the minority business community.