The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today announced $7.8 million in funding for 27 MBDA Business Centers (MBC)located across the country to boost job creation and foster the economic growth of minority firms in the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
MBDA Business Centers assist minority entrepreneurs with access to markets, contracts and capital and offer strategic business consulting services to facilitate 21stcentury growth in today’s global economy. MBCs interface directly with minority business owners and managers at the local level and provide enhanced assistance through MBDA’s national strategic partners, both within the Federal government and the private sector.
The newly restructured MBC program extends the cooperative agreements from three to five years and expands the reach of the MBC nationwide network to meet President Obama’s challenge to out-innovate, out-build, and out-educate the rest of the world. Two new centers will serve minority businesses in Cleveland, Ohio, and Denver, Co., and join MBDA’s Business Center network.
While each of the 27 centers are strategically located in areas with significant minority business activity, the redesigned program’s broad geographic focus aims to help all minority enterprises, regardless of where they are located.
MBCs will play a particularly important role in helping minority-owned businesses increase their exports. In an increasingly global economy, where opportunities are just as likely to be found overseas as they are around the corner, minority businesses are critical to achieving the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.
“Minority-owned businesses excel at exporting, and with unique language and cultural connections to other countries, they are exporting powerhouses with great potential for growth,” Hinson said.