Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) helps minority-owned businesses to thrive by making it easier for them to get more opportunities for business, financing, and contracts. The goal is for them to become more competitive in the marketplace, to grow and to create jobs.

How does the MBDA do this? It offers customized consulting services and training through a nationwide network of business centers and strategic partners. Together they provide the technical support, access to capital (money!) and market opportunities businesses need to succeed.

MBDA Business Centers are often run by partnerships between cities, local colleges and universities.  In 2013 the MBDA awarded over $7 million for new Centers to be set up in New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Houston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

This continuing investment reflects their success. Take a look and see just how successful they are and how you can use the MBDA website to increase your business’ success:

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Help For Minority-Owned Businesses

News October 2018

The Minority Business Development Agency is sponsoring an inspiring series of sessions and workshops during Minority Enterprise Development (MED) week. And it’s coming right up: from Oct. 14 to the 20th. The event will also include an awards ceremony. The focus is on what they call the next generation of entrepreneurs, and specifically those who are students at HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Topics of individual sessions will include getting connected with government business opportunities, the new $330 billion industry *the National Space Stragegy) that could be important to your future, Opportunity Development Zones community development programs coming up that will allow private investors to help low income communities and receive tax benefits in return — including a preview of possible investment locations. If you’re in or near Austin, TX you might be able to attend some of these events. Stay tuned to the MBDA website for information about possible online participation opportunities.

News June 2018 The MBDA provides more than help with funding your business — it also provides valuable training so you can grow your business. Several seminars are scheduled through the rest of 2018. They will take place in Seattle in June, focusing on sustainability and growth; Honolulu in June, for networking and connecting with local banks, contractors and government agencies; in August at Georgia Tech, providing manufacturing related tips; and in October in San Francisco where you can learn more about global trade and specifically how to do business with the Pacific Rim. Check out the MBDA website to learn more.

Update December 2017

According to the Minority Business Development Agency in the U.S. today minority businesses make up for close to 30% of all enterprises — which is great! But just a little over 10% of them have any employees. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but if these businesses were to reach the same level of employing as other entrepreneurs’ firms then our economy would enjoy an increase of 13 million more jobs. The MBDA is dedicated to help create a whole new generation of firms owned by minorities which have ore than $100,000 in yearly revenues. You could be one of them — why not? Stay tuned and see all the MBDA might do for you!

Update August 2017 Of interest to all, but especially to the Hispanic community, the MBDA recently announced a partnership with The Latino Coalition. Its goal is to promote and augment the overall objectives of the Hispanic community, including economic, business and social goals. The announcement was made at The Latino Coalition (TLC) 2017 Economic Opportunity Summit in Los Angeles. TLC is a non-partisan organization that represents the Hispanic community, working with the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. They will work with the MBDA to grow the number and size of minority owned businesses through help with capital, networking and contract opportunities and more.

Update April 2017 The Minority Business Development Agency has announced a new program it refers to as “I-3”. That stands for the MBDA Inclusive Innovation Initiative. Its aim is to reach out nationwide to increase the number of companies categorized as Minority Business Enterprises and institutions that serve minorities that are playing a role in the federal laboratory network. By increasing the opportunities and resources available to MBE’s working in the STEM area they hope to stimulate job local job creation in previously underserved areas. Learn more about it on the MBDA website. They will be sponsoring a number of educational events and workshops soon so check it out, particularly if your business could benefit from technical innovation services.

December 2016 News Hispanic-owned businesses are on the rise! a recent survey shows that the number of U.S. businesses owned by Hispanics rose by more than 46% between 2007 and 2012. That compares to growth in the number of all U.S. firms of 2%.

As of 2012 there were 3.3 million Hispanic-owned firms, representing 12% of all U.S. businesses. That percentage was also up, from 8.3% in 2007. And the good news extends to those firms total business receipts as well. Hispanic-owned firms’ revenues rose more than 35% in the same time period, from $350.7 billion to $473.6 billion. The receipts of other firms in the U.S. grew just under 12% during that same period. the term “Hispanic-owned” refers to over 50% of a business being owned by someone of Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican, or other Hispanic origin like Dominican and Salvadoran. All of those sub groups participated in these increases — and almost 45% of all those businesses were owned by women!

Need some inspiration and encouragement? One of the easiest ways to get it is to read about how the mbda has helped other entrepreneurs and their company to succeed. They’re easy to find and are nice and concisely written. Just go to the mbda website and under the Business Tools tab, click “Success Stories.” They could help you to choose an industry, figure out how to solve a business problem, or just get the ball rolling starting your business.


Toot!: In March - Women’s History Month - the MBDA celebrated the many contributions of women of color in business at the Walker’s Legacy Power50 Summit. They noted that firms owned by women make up about 38% of U.S. firms. And many minority women-owned companies have been dubbed the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the country, with major increases since 2007. Walker’s Legacy was created to honor, inspire and support all women in business and was named after the first “self-made” female millionaire in the U.S.

News December 2015 The Minority Business Development Agency recently signed an agreement  to work together with Operation HOPE to strengthen both their offerings. Operation HOPE is a non-profit whose mission is to “make free enterprise work for everyone.” They offer financial services to the working poor and others who are underserved by the financial community and others. They also focus on teaching finance literacy for youth, strengthening local communities and building “financial dignity for all.” Through the alliance with the MBDA minority business operations will have better access to both technical and financial resources. Stay tuned for more news and information about this important partnership and its benefits for minority business success.

News The MBDA has announced a new grant competition for fiscal year 2016. This FFO (Federal Funding Opportunity) will support the creation of 29 new MBDA Business Centers. That's great news because it means that minority-owned businesses are enjoying continued success and benefiting from the support and promotion that the MBDA provides. Those people or organizations equipped to provide the management and services offered at these Business Centers should visit the site to learn more, or search on grants.gov.

News Update November 2015 As part of the overall program above, the MBDA has announced a new grant competition for services supporting minority businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. A new twist on this program for a bay area consulting partner is that it will operate without a permanent office space. Instead they are seeking a creative business partner to develop alternative work spaces and “creative customer engagement.” They are looking for an experienced partner in the minority business development area. The grant will provide $1.9 million over a five year period. Eligible applicants include non-profits, for-profits, government agencies, Native American Tribes and schools. The deadline to apply is January 16, 2016.

About mbda.gov When you go to mbda.gov you will find a pretty busy home page. That’s a good thing because there’s a lot going on!  If you see a particular topic that grabs your attention by all means click on it and learn more. If you’re looking for an overall understanding of what the MBDA can do for you, look at the left of the screen just below mid-page. You should see the headline “Grow Your Business. Build the Nation.” Below that are three key topics you can click to to get information you can use:

  • Locate a MBDA Business Center will take you to a page listing most of the states plus Puerto Rico along with the cities, addresses and contact information for MBDA centers located there. Clicking any specific location will go to a page with more information. That will typically include some background about the center and the services it provides along with a summary of their performance. Statistics are provided for the dollar amount of capital and contracts they’ve helped companies get as well as for the number of jobs their clients have created or saved.
  • Media Business Center Services will take you to a summary of the types of services MBDA offers. Included are assistance with exporting and international business development, help with financing and managing your finances, getting contracts (especially with the government), finding new markets or new customers in your current market, and consulting regarding your business strategy and how to execute it.
  • How MBDA Helps You provides some inspiring information about what MBDA and its minority business clients are able to accomplish. If you are part of a minority and have a business you would like to grow, this is definitely the place for you. On average business centers help get about $50,000 in new contracts for companies, and some of the centers do closer to $100,000. These could be customers you didn’t know about or couldn’t get access to before. They are determined to help create wealth in minority communities to improve housing, education, transportation and infrastructure. And you can be a part of that. Your success helps to further build the community and create more jobs in the U.S.
Grow Your Minority Business:

Other areas to check out on this website will help increase your success. Grow Your Business Blog covers timely topics you will find helpful. Six or seven blog topics are listed on the home page and you can also click “View All Blogs” to see more.

If you click the Press Room tab at the top of the page you will find details about recent Press Releases, speeches and remarks made by the MBDA Director (usually new opportunities) and access to the MBDA Newsletter. You can also sign up for the newsletter simply by providing your email address.

Take Your Business Further:

Ready to take full advantage of the services MBDA offers? Click the tab at the top that says Business Workspace. This is where you get down to the nuts and bolts. To participate you must be a registered “MBE” or Minority Business Enterprise (meaning that over half of your company – at least 51% - is owned by an individual or individuals who are Hispanic American, African American, Asian-Pacific or Asian-Indian American also involved in managing the day to day operations of the company.) You can do so by filling out a business profile. Then you have access to lots of free online tools  like a business plan writer, opportunities that match your business offerings, webinars on current topics, success stories, upcoming events and more.

More Resources for Minority Businesses:

If you are an African-American business you can find some specific opportunities without having to sign up or register for anything: learn more in our article about Black Business Resources. And find out more about getting financing and other assistance for other minorities and groups like veterans and women in our review of the Small Business Administration website. Though women are not technically a minority you can find some specifically helpful resources at Grants for Women-Owned Business.

Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurship are on the rise! The MBDA recently reported that Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the U.S. And they are doing very well in the area of business. Between 1992 and 2012, the number of Hispanics starting their own business more than tripled, going from 621,000 to over 3.3 million. The White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics is also praised for recognizing the importance of education to business success. Many new programs increasing STEM education for Hispanics are available from government and other agencies. Check out the MBDA resources to learn more about identifying business and education opportunities for all minorities.

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