Changing the rules

NMSDC now allows new business category, paving the way for 30% minority-owned ventures

because of the attention, the NMSDC was forced to delay its vote.

Government officials were mixed in their reaction to the changes. Courtland Cox, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, says the effort “was the right decision, but does not go far enough.”

Cox says minorities must look externally for capital, even to non-minority investors, because government and private equity programs are not enough. Cox says he supports creative methods for raising capital, including structuring stock deals so investors gain a majority, yet minority owners retain their voting power.

In order for minority businesses to “participate and deal,” he says, “they cannot remain small and disadvantaged. We want to be serious players in the marketplace, and access to capital is fundamental.”

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