During MMTC’s recent Access to Capital conference, the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Program Director David Hinson addressed export enhancement through small business development. Hinson began his presentation by stating, “The MBDA is about creating jobs.”
According to Hinson, the MBDA’s record with minority firms amounts to over $12 billion in contracts and capital the agency has helped them obtain. “Last year, we helped our clients access $1.5 billion in contracts and $1.8 billion in capital, leading to these firms creating nearly 5,000 new jobs,” said Hinson.
Part of the U.S. Commerce Department, the MBDA’s mission is to actively promote the growth and competitiveness of large, medium and small minority business enterprises. Hinson discussed the agency’s role as a connector bringing businesses into contact with the national network of America’s business and export centers, which promote small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) growth in size and scale.
“If you are looking for equity, contact us; we are your partners. If you are looking to grow your business through mergers and acquisitions, we want to be your partner,” he said.
Hinson went on to discuss President Obama’s 2010 goal to double U.S. exports by 2015. “The aim [for U.S. entrepreneurs] is to take advantage of that brand, ‘Made In America,’” said Hinson. Two years into Obama’s timeline, the U.S. is indeed on track to doubling its exports.
The MBDA and other federal agencies like the NTIA, USDA, and the Department of Commerce have helped build U.S. exports through their support of American entrepreneurs. Hinson ended his remarks with the final thought that small and minority businesses must pursue international opportunities and that the MBDA is positioned to aid them at every turn.
Throughout the entire session, each speaker discussed available opportunities as well as their agency’s role in helping to mitigate some of the challenges entrepreneurs encounter, specifically fundraising-related challenges.
The presence of broadband in the other 72 percent of rural America is an opportunity, and the construction and deployment of FirstNet, the nation’s first interoperable public safety broadband network, provide fertile ground for budding new enterprises. The access to U.S. business and export centers offers valuable resources that likely make a difference for an SME’s success over time.
If you are looking for sources of funding from the federal government, access some of the resources provided in the session:
- MBDA (Department of Commerce)
- Rural Utilities Service (USDA)
- Community Connect Project (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UTP_Programs.html)
- Telecommunications Loans and Grants (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UTP_Programs.html)
- USDA, Rural Utilities Service Programs and Opportunities (http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ProgramsAndOpportunities.html)