Minority Business Development Agency Puts $7.7 Million Toward New Business Centers

New grants will spur innovation and collaboration

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. MBDA recently launched a search for prospective partners to operate their newly improved business center program.

Under the new program, the nationwide business center network is more integrated, places more emphasis on collaboration, and was designed to ensure the quality and consistency of service delivery throughout their nationwide network of business centers.

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For-profit entities, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, and educational intuitions are all encouraged to apply. MBDA plans to award five individual cooperative agreements to operate MBDA Business Centers beginning in September 2016. The awards will cover a 5-year period and total $1.5 million annually for each center. The Centers will be located in Baltimore, Maryland, Boston, Massachusetts, Manhattan, New York, Pasadena, California, and St. Louis, Missouri.

“The success of minority-owned businesses is vital to the U.S. economy. These Centers will help our inventors, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs remain on the cutting edge at the speed required in the 21st century,” said MBDA National Director, Alejandra Y. Castillo in a statement.

MBDA is looking for organizations to deliver business consulting services to minority-owned firms, providing them increased access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments. Successful applicants will be those that have experience in assisting minority firms with obtaining large scale contracts and financial transactions; accessing corporate supply chains; facilitating joint ventures, teaming arrangements, mergers, and acquisitions; inducting export transactions; and performing minority business advocacy.