MBDA Summit: MBE Programs

paneldiscussionOn 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 challenges MBEs have in growing their businesses and in competing in the global economy, what are your recommendations for future programs or strategies which should be implemented to support MBEs in the 21st century?

The common themes from the Summit include:

  • Implementation of partnerships with colleges and universities to teach entrepreneurship programs.
  • The Creation of a Reciprocal/Universal Certification Process.
  • Cross collaboration with Minority Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations and other business development organizations.
  • The need for a unified voice within the MBE Community to advocate on issues impacting their growth strategies.
  • Ongoing Training and Development of MBE’s to Build Capacity. (ie. Tuck School of Business, Kellogg, Darden named)
  • Recommendation for MBDA to revisit its Executive Order and require OSDBU’s to be accountable, transparent and responsible for procurement purchasing from MBE suppliers.
  • SBA size standards need to be increased.
  • Providing incentives for public and private sector entities that meet and/or exceed procurement goals.
  • Sharing of Best Practices within the MBDA Network and recognition of public/private organizations that demonstrate and lead by example.
  • Educate Congress/Policymakers in a unified voice on issues, challenges impacting MBE’s.
  • Increased funding for MBDA to offer more programs targeted at building MBE capacity and spurring the U.S. economy.
  • Better educate the financial/lending community about the MBDA Programs and Services and establish a referral pool.
  • The creation of an Emerging Minority Business Loan Pool.
  • More frequent studies on SBO Data — Every 2 years — will require increased funding.
  • Making the business case for doing business with MBE’S and the value proposition.

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.


4 responses to “MBDA Summit: MBE Programs

  1. On a Federal Level:
    Each federal agency operating a government minority contracting program should be responsible for ensuring it has a substantial record of evidence (i.e. predicate) supporting its program. Each agency needs to work with Congress, DoJ, civil rights organizations, and minority business organizations to make this happen. It is certainly a coalition effort but the initiation and management of building the predicate must come from within the federal government. Once a substantial record of evidence has been established (through both statistical evidence and testimonials), it must be updated every 3-5 years.

    On a State/Local Level:
    Federal agency reps in each state/locality need to work with SBA, DoJ, civil rights organizations and minority business organizations to collect stories of business discrimination. They should lead a grassroots outreach to local minority business owners about the importance of sharing stories of discrimination, i.e. these stories are necessary to preserving MBE programs. Civil rights organizations and DoJ can help train the federal agency reps on how to have these conversations.

    In Partnership with Private Sector:
    Each federal agency operating an MBE program must hold its large prime contractors accountable through regular, measured reporting systems. Prime contractors need to know that their outreach efforts to MBEs must be genuine and substantial.

  2. I believe that the future of minority business involves a significant expansion in capacity for individual firms. Minority owned businesses play a key role in stabilizing our nation’s economy and enhancing America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. Increasing their capacity enhances their ability to create jobs, to innovate, and to make a significant impact on the nation’s GDP.

    Entrepreneurs, government officials, and industry leaders must work together to ensure that economic gains are widely distributed. These stakeholders should move forward with the following specific goals in mind:
    • First, market knowledge must be enhanced to increase competition and the firms’ effectiveness.
    • Second, much needed capital investments should be made in our communities and the small businesses that serve them.
    • Third, access to technology must be improved, creating more opportunities for genuine and sustained innovation.

    These goals need to be the drivers behind how we serve our nation’s minority business owners. Achieving these goals will afford minority firms the tools they need to be successful in the 21st century global marketplace.

  3. Cool site, love the info.

  4. they have done well in this country. There are still many good sources of securities financing for business owners.

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