MBDA Summit: Legal Landscape

tablediscussionOn 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 current court challenges to programs targeted for minority-owned businesses, what actions can be put in place to support the growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in the 21st century?

Below you will find the themes for the topic of “Legal Landscape:”

  • Communicate the White House and Administration’s commitment to minority business growth and competitiveness.
  • Develop criteria for minority business contracting goals on the federal, state and local levels, and establish and enforce these goals.
  • Develop a streamlined and effective federal certification process for minority businesses (HUB Zone, 8(a), and SDB should not exist separately).
  • Implement a national research study to discover current barriers to success for minority businesses.
  • Develop a national disparity study which demonstrate barriers and gaps in access to government contracts.
  • Build a record of evidence of discrimination and barriers into the congressional and legislative record.
  • Establish formalized mentoring programs for entrepreneurship starting at the college level and lasting throughout the business lifecycle.
  • Create educational programs that focus specifically on procurement within the government contracting arena.
  • Consolidate the number of minority business advocacy organizations into one centralized organization which will then partner with MBDA.  Create an agenda for all minorities to speak with one voice.

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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4 responses to “MBDA Summit: Legal Landscape

  1. Hank Wilfong Jr.

    I WAS THERE….and how proudly I proclaim it!
    And, I will be there for MED Week when The Action Plan is presented and fine-tuned.

    The struggle is continuing. The battle has not been won yet. But, we have made our start. WE need to now come together and get the job done. Our mission is the full and true integration of minorities into the American business place.

    We have just begun…

  2. In developing new programs for MBEs or in efforts to strengthen current initiatives, MBDA must bring civil rights lawyers to the table. The legal landscape for MBE programs is a virtual minefield that must be tread upon very carefully so as to protect against legal challenges. There needs to be a bona fide collaboration between civil rights groups and minority business groups in this matter, with MBDA playing a central role.

    MBDA, in coalition with civil rights lawyers, DoJ, Congress and others to draft and introduce affirmative legislation regarding equality in government contracting. Essentially, this legislation would be the Title VII equivalent to employment law. This legislation would declare the illegality of discriminating against minority contractors on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.

  3. Division will always allow the control of the masses in general. We need more unity and conferences such as this to help the progression of our country and world at large. The current legislation should give more power back to the people and allow the businesses of America to get our economy back on track.

  4. One thing they can do to support the growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in the 21st century is to expand 8A opportunities for minority owned businesses. With more 8A incentives, the government and it’s citizens can both benefit.

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