MBDA Summit: Emerging Entrepreneurial Opportunities

mbesummit2On 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:

Given the new market/emerging opportunities for MBEs in the national and global economy, what programs and strategies are needed for MBEs to enter and succeed in these emerging and new industries?

  • Provide incentives for larger companies to partner with smaller companies.
  • To strengthen competitive advantage, encourage MBE firms to partner with other firms that offer complementary technology.
  • Develop a group of 10 business owners in each state capable of entering emerging markets and provide the training, access to capital and other resources needed.
  • Federal government should identify new green technology to be used in the future for home and office construction where opportunities can be created for minorities
  • Direct MBEs toward ARRA growth industries and encourage teaming.
  • Identify top MBE leaders in emerging markets.  Use these leaders as mentors/resources to bring in new MBEs into these markets.
  • Work with universities to deploy interns with skill sets that can enhance the growth of MBE firms in emerging technologies
  • Identify national/state/local, private and public projects focused on helping MBEs.
  • Focus on educating high school students on understanding and identifying on Green and emerging business opportunities
  • Expand access to SBIR Program. Reserve a percentage of SBIR Grants for MBEs
  • Work with local colleges and universities to create incubators/entrepreneurial centers for emerging technology companies.

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.


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3 responses to “MBDA Summit: Emerging Entrepreneurial Opportunities

  1. Looks like a great program. What incentives will they provide for larger companies to partner with smaller companies? I think it’s an great idea, it just would have to make economic sense for the larger company. If they go with a smaller supplier of a particular product or service they are potentially placing themselves at risk. On that comes to mind in particular is that smaller companies may have difficulty fulfilling the needs or demands of the larger one. Hopefully they can come up with an incentive that is strong enough to persuade the larger companies.

    • I agree with Tony, this looks like a great program. I think the incentive for larger companies would be that they can have the smaller company perform their speciality. This allows the larger company to exploit niche markets if they do not own a comparitive advantage in this area of business. An example would be accounting firms that perform payroll work. Although the larger company could certainly perform payroll functions, it is probably cost effective and more efficient to have a company that specializes in payroll management. Also for smaller companies, they may have a local market domination. Instead of trying to compete with these local companies at the local level, they can tap the resources and connection that the smaller company has already established

      The incentive for smaller companies is very obvious in that the smaller companies will have increased business flow and more exposure to resources that the larger company has to offer.

  2. The program seems like a good idea. The focus seems very much on establishing partnerships here in the states. The article mentions the global market, however. Are there any plans to facilitate international partnerships, especially between minority owned businesses and businesses in the developing world? Especially in the Latino community, there’s the possibility that the business itself or business owners have ties to other countries(in central or South America, for example) that could result in mutually beneficial agreements, and expand markets beyond just individual cities.

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