The Minority Business Development Agency’s network of MBDA Business Centers are staffed with experienced and highly qualified professionals, ready to help you strengthen, develop and grow your business.
We invite you to review our business insights, monthly factsheets, webinar recordings and other information created to help you leverage our resources and reach your greatest potential. Need to learn more about maximizing Millennials in the workplace, we got you covered! Or what about business operations, marketing, succession planning, winning government contracts, securing your financial future, and finding your “in” in the innovation economy? You’ve come to the right place, find your all of your first steps right here at www.mbda.gov/grow.
Need more? Visit you nearest MBDA Business Center to meet with an business development expert.
Ever take a moment to think about the digital devices that streamline our daily tasks — the Fitbit counting our steps or Alexa turning off the lights before bed? These objects and devices compose a network that communicates with other internet-enabled devices and systems, known as the “internet of things” (IoT).
Adapting your business to meet changing market needs is challenging, but necessary—especially if you have achieved great success in your current business model. Modifying existing products or services, or creating new ones, is a great way to stay relevant while achieving greater growth. Just ask companies such as Blockbuster, which neglected to adapt to new business models that emerged from technological advancements and, as a result, has all but disappeared. Technology is constantly evolving; every 12–18 months, computer capabilities increase exponentially, as do the information technologies.
We are a nation of innovators. As our country evolves so does the need to create alternative approaches to solving problems. Innovation is essential to ensure we can continue to improve our quality of life. As businesses continue to progress, understanding innovation categories can be beneficial to the creative process and can reveal how your ideas might fit into the overall future of your business.
Traditionally, when we hear innovation, inherently we think technology, but innovation transcends our basic understanding of technology. If technology is the product, innovation is the process. The most successful companies are constantly innovating, evolving, and perfecting. Industries like 3D printing, just-in-time manufacturing, microfinancing, crowdsourcing, and others, create ways to achieve results that are redefining innovation in their respective industries. The national network of MBDA Business Centers understands the value of innovation to grow your business.
Webinar: Identifying Innovation Opportunities for Sustainable Business Growth
Whether it’s creating new products or services, implementing a transformative solution, or disrupting the “norm,” innovation can take on many forms within a business. As business owners, it’s important to understand that innovation is not limited to products, services, technology, or creative thinking. It’s about leveraging your understanding of your market and how your business is uniquely positioned to provide novel solutions for your customers.
Scaling Up Your Operational Infrastructure
Many businesses equate scaling up to adding new employees who can maximize growth capabilities. Although personnel is a factor, scaling business operations is the industry’s terminology for preparing your business for success regardless of size.
Many business decisions require a combination of intuition and strategic thinking—scaling a business is no different. Implementing processes to equip your team to operate at the same standard whether you have 10 or 100 employees or 2 to 220 clients is foundational to scaling up. It’s the infrastructure that allows you to expand and constrict regardless of revenue or personnel. There is no doubt that scaling a business has a direct impact on time, personnel, and money. The national network of MBDA Business Centers are ready to help you prepare your business for maturity.
Webinar: Scaling Up with Operational Insights
Running a business requires time, money, and resources, all of which are valuable to minority-owned firms. Achieving the next phase of growth for your business requires strategic operational insights that can streamline efficiency and improve your bottom line. The webinar provided practical business operation insights your company can leverage to prepare your business for the next level.
In business, nothing is more important than a comprehensive marketing strategy to inform, win, and influence customers. Determining how your company is going to succeed varies based on industry, business size, and your internal resources and budget. If you’re not a marketing expert, it may seem overwhelming — that’s where we step in.
MBDA is dedicating March to marketing insights every business enterprise needs to thrive, starting with three core strategies and tactics critical to winning, sustaining, and growing your business: a
comprehensive capabilities statement, a value-focused marketing sales cycle, and an engaging online advertising strategy.
There are numerous marketing techniques, strategies, tools, and recommenda-tions available to business owners. Sometimes the decision-making process can be overwhelming, but here are four essentials to consider before the marketing tactics should be initiated. If you do nothing else, the following recommendations will have a tremendous impact on how you approach your marketing efforts.
Webinar on Marketing Your Business for Success
Marketing is a key component to any successful business development strategy and can often times make or break the success and growth of a business. This crash course in marketing provided practical insights your company could use to develop a winning strategy.
Business owners are always looking for opportunities to expand resources and increase revenue. One of the ways to do this is to hire Millennials as entry-level employees, give them experience, and train them to maximize your bottom line. Learn our tips for optimizing and winning with Millennials in the workplace.
A recent Inc. magazine article, “17 Bad Habits That Can Make Millennials Look Really Unprofessional,” written by a Millennial, asked hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders of all generations how they thought Millennials were doing at work. We took four Millennial bad habits and provided recommendations on how MBEs can optimize revenue with Millennial employees.
Webinar: Strategies for Optimizing Millennials in Your Business
Today, one out of three employees in the U.S. are Millennials. In less than 10 years, three out of every four workers worldwide will be Millennials. Are you ready to manage this young motivated generation? We hope so, because they can help you hyper-grow your business…if you have the patience to train, and can create an infrastructure to support these talented employees.
Your legacy will be judged not only on the business deals you make or the bottom line in your annual reports, but on the company culture that fostered your success. Developing a culture you believe in means starting with a clear and consistent vision of how you'd like everyone, inside your organization and beyond, to view your company. It is possible to be a successful individual, but not run a successful business. MBDA wants you to be both an amazing business owner and a successful and resourceful MBE. As a successful MBE, there are four key value propositions MBDA believes are essential for an amazing company culture.
Webinar: Top Strategies to Win Federal Government Contracts
This webinar provides the best strategies to win contracts in the very competitive federal contracting arena. With over $100 billion in federal procurements, learn proven strategies to identify and win contracts.
Webinar: New Horizons - Global Markets
San Antonio MBDA Business Center Project Director Orestes Hubbard discussed what it takes to become export ready and how Hubbard and his team facilitated $200 million in global transactions for minority-owned businesses.
Blog: Innovation Can Help Narrow the Wealth Gap: MBEs Own Just as Many Patents as Nonminority-Owned Firms
For the first time, the Census Bureau has collected information about ownership of intellectual property in its 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO). We now have data to verify what we’ve known for some time—minority business owners are innovative and forward thinking. Based on 2012 SBO results, minority-owned firms equal the rate of patent ownership of nonminority firms. For both groups, one half of one percent of businesses own one or more patents.
Fact Sheet: Understanding Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with Federal Laboratories
What is Crada? The most common and flexible way for federal labs to work with the public sector, and vice versa, is through collaborative R&D agreements. The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is one of the most significant mechanisms for technology transfer (T2), and through them a federal lab can commit resources such as personnel, facilities, equipment, intellectual property, or other resources—but not funds—to any interested nonfederal party. CRADAs result in more favorable long-term outcomes than any other T2 mechanism.
Inclusive Innovation in Action was located at an award-winning Chicago technology incubator, BLUE1647, and drew a mix of entrepreneurs, investors, and community residents. The afternoon panel focused on information-sharing about MBDA services for entrepreneurs, and engaging examples of successful minority-owned tech enterprises.
Blog: Why the future success of our economy depends on the expansion of U.S. minority-owned business
Any armchair economist will tell you that entrepreneurship is central to a healthy economy. What they probably won’t tell you is that the rate of entrepreneurship in the United States has significantly declined over the last several decades. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in the late 1970s, at least 15 percent of American businesses were startups. Despite the popularity of business-venture-themed TV shows such as ABC’s Shark Tank, the number of new businesses has fallen to just 8 percent of all U.S. business operations.
In the last 15 years, the Internet has helped make the world a lot more accessible. It also helps provide new opportunities for minority owned businesses to find financial resources that are imperative to the growth and success needed to remain competitive. Although alternative lending offers more options for obtaining access to capital, it is important to keep in mind that these “alternatives” are not government regulated like traditional lending sources. Alternative lending poses greater risks, but enables business owners to secure funding at a lower costs by not having to follow all of the same compliance and regulatory requirements, and to revolutionize—with technology as its principal.
Often times, minority business owners are reluctant to apply for business loans for fear of receiving too little credit, having to pay outrageous interest rates, putting up higher collateral, or total rejection. So, the question is asked – what can you do as a business owner to get the necessary working capital to take your business towards the next level of success?
Webinar: Where Businesses Come to Grow Presents...The Capital Network: Funding Options to Grow Your Business
Financing a business is never simple, whether it is a start-up or an established company. From initial seed money to working capital needed to maintain operations, access to capital remains a major barrier to many minority-owned firms. Rhea Aguinaldo, Northern California Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority, takes on this challenge every day by engaging with small business owners, business organizations, and advocacy groups. In turn, she is able to share her wealth of knowledge on a wide range of funding options needed to grow your business