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Latino Daily News

Monday August 23, 2010

New Opportunities for Minority Entrepreneurs

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the National Urban League have joined forces to expand opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. MBDA and NUL will pool their collective resources to support the growth of minority-owned firms located in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

“MBDA looks forward to working with the National Urban League to increase our reach to minority entrepreneurs and help them grow to size and capacity,” said MBDA National Director David A. Hinson. “Our 46 centers around the nation are working diligently to provide avenues for minority businesses to grow and compete. The League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program will help us reach minority-owned firms in areas where we currently don’t have a presence and service more minority entrepreneurs in communities where we do.”  Hinson adds, “MBDA and its network of business development specialists will also provide their subject matter expertise to Entrepreneurship Center Program staff to increase their capacity to help minority-owned firms succeed.”

Last year, MBDA helped minority-owned firms access almost $3.0 billion in contracts and financial packages resulting in the creation of more than 3,000 new jobs.

“Our Entrepreneurship Centers empower minority entrepreneurs to take advantage of new business opportunities and qualify for financing that will put them on the path towards professional success,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League.  Minority-owned firms continue to grow significantly in number, increasing from 4 million in 2002 to 5.8 million in 2007, yet gross receipts lag behind those of non-minority-owned firms. One of the reasons for this gap is that minority businesses are largely represented in low growth sectors and their owners rely on personal debt and family financing versus business loans, equity, and other forms of financing, to operate and grow their businesses. This results in a lack of size, scale and capabilities when compared to non-minority-owned businesses.

The partnership between MBDA and the National Urban League aims to rectify this gap and assist firms that show promise of growth and sustainability in today’s marketplace.