Celebrated since 1963, National Small Business Week recognizes the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Entrepreneurship is an integral part of our country’s DNA and increasing numbers of minorities are becoming entrepreneurs. However, starting a business can be challenging in that the majority of small- to medium-sized businesses often lack access and visibility to helpful resources.
Through a national network of nearly 40 business centers and a wide range of domestic and international strategic partners, the Minority Business Development Agency  provides minority-owned businesses with technical assistance and access to capital, contract opportunities and new markets to create new jobs and support the economy. Nationwide MBDA Business Centers  help provide heightened visibility and access to valuable opportunities for minority-owned firms through partnerships with multi-national corporations, industry coalitions, and government agencies.
For Kevin Robinson, CEO of RFS Group, LLC, in Indianapolis, IN, hard work and determination helped get his full service janitorial company off the ground. However, taking the business to the next level required some help. Robinson contacted the MBDA Business Center in Indianapolis for direction. The Center provided Robinson with procurement assistance and business counseling. As a result, RFS secured several contracts valued at $16,700, and it was able to hire eight additional employees. Within six months of partnering with the Center, RFS saw its revenues increase by 10 percent.
The impact of MBDA’s work in supporting the growth of minority businesses spans several decades; however, the recent launch of the MBDA Federal Procurement Center has proven to expand MBDA’s reach. The Federal Procurement Center  is the first MBDA Business Center that solely focuses on increasing federal agency contracting with minority-owned businesses. The establishment of this business center is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all U.S. businesses share in the jobs and opportunities created by federal government activities. The business center consultants have extensive federal procurement knowledge and contracting experience that they use to leverage their clients’ capabilities and unique products and services to the federal government as well as provide assistance in developing customized near-term and long-term marketing strategies.
In fiscal year 2012, MBDA helped its clients create or retain 16,730 jobs in the U.S. This was achieved in large part by helping clients obtain over $3.6 billion in contracts and capital awards. MBDA remains committed to helping small and medium-sized minority-owned businesses grow and successfully compete in the domestic and global markets by facilitating access to contracts and capital in a wide range of industry sectors. MBDA and the small business community together continue to strengthen the future of America’s economy.