The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provided $7.8 million in funding for 27 MBDA Business Centers (MBC) throughout the country to boost job creation and help minority firms expand in the U.S., the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, stated a MDBA press release on April 6.
The business centers help provide minority entrepreneurs access to markets, contracts and capital and offer “strategic business consulting services.” Working with minority business owners and managers locally, MBCs then provide assistance through its national partners, both within the Federal government and the private sector.
“The MBDA Business Center program has shown remarkable success, and with a renewed focus on job creation in high-growth industries that leverages global business opportunities and teaming arrangements, we’ve raised the performance bar,” said MBDA National Director David Hinson in the press release. “MBCs are catalysts for minority business development, and by investing in these centers at the local level, we will see reverberating effects throughout the national economy.”
The MBC program recently had a structuring makeover. It extended the cooperative agreements from three to five years and expanded the reach of the MBC nationwide network. The upgrades are intended to “meet President Obama’s challenge to out-innovate, out-build, and out-educate the rest of the world,” stated the press release.
All 27 centers that received grants are strategically located in areas with a high minority population and/or a significant number of minority businesses. The program’s expanded geographic focus can now help all minority enterprises, regardless of where they are located.
MBCs are also concentrating on helping minority-owned businesses increase their exports. “Minority-owned businesses excel at exporting, and with unique language and cultural connections to other countries, they are exporting powerhouses with great potential for growth,” Hinson said.
For minority business owners interested in receiving assistance from an MBDA Business Center, locate your closest center by visiting www.mbda.gov.