Tag Archives: minority business

Public Hearing: Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Business

On June 28, 2010 at 1pm EST, the Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Business will hold a public hearing at the auditorium at the Department of Commerce located at 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20230.

To pre-register for the meeting, please email your name, organization or small business that you represent, along with the contact information to SB_TaskForce_Comment@sba.gov.  You should also include the topics you are interested in discussing (see below). Those interested in attending should register by June 21, 2010 due to security and limited seating.  Please put “registration” in the subject line of the email.

Topics that will be discussed during the hearing include:

  • Teaming, Mentor-protege programs and subcontracting – What steps can be taken to increase interest in and participation through use of: a) teaming arrangements and b) mentor-protege programs.  How can subcontracting practices, such as tracking and evaluation of subcontracting plans be improved? How can prime contractors be more effectively held responsible for their subcontracting plans?
  • Set-asides and Bundling – What aspects, if any, of the rules governing set-asides should be changed? What further guidance might be helpful? What strategies best mitigate the effects of contract bundling? Are there specific examples that might be shared as success stories or models for agencies to follow in mitigating contract bundling?
  • Training, outreach and technology – What types of training would improve small businesses’ ability to participate in the Federal marketplace and what are the best ways to deliver this training to the small business community? What Federal organizations do the best job in their small business outreach strategies? What specific practices do they employ that are most helpful? What technology systems and applications are most helpful to small businesses in finding contracting opportunities? What improvements can be made to existing technologies and what new applications might be considered to make doing business with the Federal government easier and more attractive?
  • Workforce Training – What is the best way to train individuals in the procurement process? How can we ensure they have the skills needed to serve small businesses?

Minority-owned firms are encouraged to register and discuss specific successes or challenges they have faced in federal government contracting.  In addition to participating in the public meeting, interested parties may submit written comments to SB_TaskForce_Comment@sba.gov by June 30.  Please put “comment” in the subject line of the email.

The Administration is committed to tapping the talents and skills of small businesses, the engine of our Nation’s economy, and ensuring that they have a fair chance to participate in Federal contracting opportunities.

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Greening your business

It’s important to recognize that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Eco-friendly practices may seem costly but can serve as a great investment for future growth in businesses as it reduces costs and creates happier customers.

Business.gov provides suggestions and information from fellow business owners as well as industry and government experts.  Linked to the site, you can find a Green Business Guide that offers tons of tips on how to pursue and maintain a green business.  Recommendations include how to reduce energy costs, how green technology develops energy efficient upgrades, what kinds tax credits there are to green technology developments, and more.  By cutting down on expenses and becoming more consumer-friendly, your business can open up opportunities for growth.

Here are some links to get you started with your journey towards a greener business:

Energy efficient guide

Save energy costs, find energy saving tips, and get information on incentives for making energy efficient upgrades.  The guide can lead you to recommendations on cost savings, opportunities for energy efficient upgrades, steps towards sustainable business practices, and more.

Tax credits to green technology development

A tax credit can provide significant savings. It reduces the amount of income tax you have to pay. Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a tax credit directly reduces the tax itself.

Green technology innovation grants

A few federal programs provide grants to small firms engaged in scientific research and development (R&D). The federal government’s SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs award a specific percentage of federal R&D funds to qualified small businesses. SBIR/STTR programs encourage small firms to undertake scientific research that helps meet federal R&D objectives, and have high potential for commercialization if successful.

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.


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.


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.


David Hinson appointed new MBDA National Director

20060112_careernetWASHINGTON – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the appointment of David Hinson, a St. Louis native with more than 20 years of business experience, as the new administrator of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). This agency is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the United States.


“The success of minority-owned businesses is essential to our economic recovery, and I’m counting on David to maximize their opportunities,” Locke said.


MBDA, through its network of 48 minority business centers throughout the country, provides one-on-one workshops and business consulting services for minority businesses to help educate them about federal opportunities, including those related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


“I’m honored to accept this position and am committed to carrying out Secretary Locke’s priority of working with minority entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses and increase their capacity,” Hinson said. “This work better positions these companies to create jobs, improve local economies and expand operations into national and global markets.”


In 2008, MBDA negotiated more than $2 billion in contracts and capital for minority businesses. Over the past 40 years, MBDA has served more than 625,000 minority businesses and assisted in securing more than $25 billion in loans and bonding.


Since MBDA’s creation in 1969, minority businesses have grown from 300,000 to nearly 4 million. Recent Census data indicates minority firms generate more than $661 billion in annual revenues and employ nearly 5 million workers.


More information about Hinson is available below.


David A. Hinson Bio


Since 2002, David was President and CEO of Wealth Management Network, Inc., a multi-million dollar independent, financial advisory boutique. Prior to launching Wealth Management Network, David managed a 10-state sales region as Director of Advisory Services for Envestnet Asset Management, a $70 billion financial advisory firm. In his capacity, David advised high-end advisors in asset allocation, portfolio construction, technology, and product implementation. He also served as Managing Director of Business Development for the company. In addition, David has held a variety of senior-level and mid-management positions at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley & Company, and First Chicago Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) and the Village Foundation.


David received an MBA in Finance from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, and a bachelor’s degree in Insurance and Finance with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In addition, he completed a fellowship in International Finance with honors from the Stockholm School of Economics and completed graduate-level studies in French with honors at the University of Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast West Africa.


David is a member of a number of civic organizations including a member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) in New York. In addition, David has provided on-air financial commentary for CNN, Fox News Channel, CBS News and The BE Report in addition to writing a financial column for The Network Journal and writing personal wealth analyses for Black Enterprise Magazine and Essence Magazine.


David is a native of St. Louis, Mo. 20060112_careernetand currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa.

National MED Week Conference and Nominations for Awards Being Accepted

awardsbrochure200pxThe National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference will be held August 26-28 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.  The Conference will focus on fostering innovation, competitiveness and opportunities for minority businesses to retool and rebuild America’s Infrastructure under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Conference theme is “Energizing the American Economy with Minority Business Enterprises.” In addition to the State of Commerce Luncheon  and the Annual MED Week Awards Gala, the conference will feature a Business EXPO where entrepreneurs can network and share information.  Participants will also attend educational workshops and business networking events with representatives of MBDA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other public and private partners. 

Nominations are currently being accepted for MBDA’s 2009 Excellence in Minority Business Awards.  The award winners will be recognized at MBDA regional MED Week conferences and national award winners will be recognized at the MED Week Awards Gala on August 28, 2009 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel as part of the MED Week Conference activities.