Guest blog post by Carmen West, MBDA Business Development Specialist
For over 45 years MBDA has been working aggressively to expand the economic footprint of minority business enterprises, also known as MBEs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners, these MBE firms contributed $1 trillion in total economic output and employed nearly six million Americans. These findings highlight that the economic contribution of these firms has a significant impact on the national economy.
MBDA helps firms to realize their full economic potential through technical assistance, public and private contracting opportunities, advocacy, research and education, and by serving as a strategic partner for growth and development. MBDA is the only Federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of our nation's 5.8 million minority businesses.
Since 2009, MBDA has assisted clients in accessing nearly $26 billion in contracts and capital, while helping them create and retain more than 60,000 jobs. The bulk of this work is accomplished through our nationwide network of MBDA Business Centers. Each center provides businesses with services to assist them in accessing capital, contracts, and new markets, as well as helping them to grow in size and scale.
Access to Capital
In 2014 MBDA created a new access to capital team to introduce our clients to alternative capital sources. This work has been two-fold: to educate clients and firms about the types of alternative financing available and to advocate on their behalf with the kind of resource partners that minority owned firms lack access to: venture capitalists, angel investors, mergers and acquisitions firms, and internet based platforms.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker recently issued a report showing that U.S. goods and services exports supported more than 11.7 million jobs in 2014 - a new record. The new data showed that exports strengthen our economy and create good jobs, paying up to 18 percent more than non-export related positions. In partnership with Ex-Im Bank nine MBDA Business Centers became loan originators for Global Credit Express offering short-term working capital loans to small business exporters. Our work with exporting initiatives like Look South and Doing Business in Africa, has resulted in an increase in client requests for assistance with exporting, which showcases another way MBEs are helping to strengthen the U.S. economy.
To learn more about how MBDA works with U.S. companies in creating economic growth and recovery, visit www.mbda.gov.