MBDA Business Center: Helping Local Businesses Succeed
Launched with a grand opening event this fall, the MBDA Business Center (“MBC”) Cleveland, Ohio is part of a national network of nearly fifty such centers established to increase the number of minority-owned firms, strengthen existing minority-owned firms and create jobs. The MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency), part of the United States Department of Commerce, is the only federal agency dedicated to the expansion and growth of minority owned firms, with the ultimate goal of creating $6 billion in contracts and financing opportunities for minority businesses and 10,000 new jobs nationwide. The MBC program is a key part of the MBDA’s overall portfolio of minority business development services, focusing on securing large public and/or private contracts and financing transactions, stimulating job creation and facilitating entry to global markets for eligible minority-owned businesses. Locally, Cleveland’s Center seeks to generate up to $20M in contracting and financial opportunities per funding year, along with the creation of seventy new jobs and the retention of 48 more. The center also focuses on creating export and strategic transactions.
Cleveland's MBDA Business Center is a collaborative initiative operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (“GCP”). Its portfolio of services include client engagement, access to markets, access to capital and strategic consulting. A business is eligible to work with the MBDA office if the company is owned or controlled (greater than 50 percent) by individuals who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens admitted for lawful admission to the U.S. and are African American, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Asian Indians, Hasidic Jews, Hispanic or Native Americans. Joining the Commission as strategic partners of the Center are the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), GCP’s small business partner; JumpStart; the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the Northern Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council; Team NEO; and WECO Fund, Inc.
The MBDA Business Center is located in the new GCP offices, at 1240 Huron Road. Ste. 300. Contact the center for more information about their programs and services at 216.592.2253.
Carmen West is Executive Director of Cleveland's Minority Business Development Agency Business Center.