On July 6th and 7th, MBDA hosted a meeting of leaders in the minority business community, including program directors and advocates, to review and benchmark progress regarding the state of minority businesses. The goal of the meeting was to establish a blueprint for minority business development programs that can be implemented by the public and private sectors in the future.
From the meeting, common themes emerged from the conversations. MBDA is opening the discussion to include a variety of stakeholders in minority business success- we welcome your comments and suggestions.
The question that was asked is this:
What advocay activities and actions do you recommend can be encouraged or taken to promote the economic development and growth of MBEs?
The common themes include the following:
- All of the minority chambers and like-minded groups need to advocate in one single voice.
- The minority chambers and like-minded groups should think about forming a coalition for better unity and strength in numbers.
- Either or both organizations need to be legally allowed to lobby.
- MBDA should play an active role in a new combined chamber organization or coalition.
- The minority business community needs to be trained and educated in advocacy at the federal, state and local level.
- The minority business community needs to be aware of how and when federal, state and local laws are enacted so that they can effectively impact legislation that affects their daily lives.
- Minority business leaders need to connect and meet with lawmakers so they know and understand their issues.
- Minority businesses need strong and frequent economic data to make the business case and back up the advocacy efforts
- MBDA needs to publicize each of their success stories so lawmakers understand the positive impact in their community.
- The private sector needs to be an equal partner in advocacy. They need to tell other companies the benefits of working with minority business.
- MBDA needs the power to enforce the current minority business goals.
- MBDA funded centers need more resources dedicated to outreach and advocacy.
We would appreciate your comments and suggestions on the topic, to see participants specific comments per topic, please click here.
**This post contains the comments provided by participants at the Minority Business Development Agency Summit held on July 6 – 7, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Participants provided input on strategy, enforcement mechanisms, and legislation that may assist minority entrepreneurs in the future. Note-takers memorialized the comments made at each of the tables. These materials are being provided in raw data format and are for informational purposes only. The views expressed herein are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of MBDA or of the U.S. Department of Commerce.