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Deputy Secretary Don Graves Hosts Roundtable with Minority-Owned Business Leaders to Address Critical Need for Investments in the Care Economy


Deputy Secretary Don Graves hosted a virtual roundtable discussion earlier this month with minority-owned business leaders to address the critical need to create and invest in a care economy, especially for minority-owned businesses. The event comes as Secretary Raimondo and the Biden Administration continue to emphasize the need for transformational investments in America’s care infrastructure.

“More than 2 million women are out of work and women's participation in the workforce has dropped to the lowest level in more than 30 years,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. “To build a strong economy we need to invest in the care economy.”

The roundtable, “Caring for Yourself and Your Business,” was part of the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)’s Enterprising Women of Color Initiative (EWOC). Participants in the roundtable included Ronita Boult, CEO of Care with Compassion Community; Margie Benshing, CEO of Golden Sherpa; Shawn Pearson, President/Owner of the Zion Institute; and Ron Busby, President and CEO of the Black Chambers of Commerce. The participants shared their thoughts on the care economy and ideas on how we can help address the challenges facing minority entrepreneurs.

Deputy Secretary Don Graves at “Caring for Yourself and Your Business" virtual roundtable discussion with minority-owned business leaders.


“I want to remind you that the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency and the Commerce Department are here for you, Deputy Secretary Graves told participants. “I assure you that I will continue participating in MBDA events across all the many programs and initiatives organized by our great MBDA team, and more importantly, that the Secretary and I are focused on supporting the growth of minority businesses.”

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) developed Enterprising Women of Color (EWOC) to focus on the fast-expanding minority women entrepreneur population as a revenue generator for families, communities, and the nNation. 

Minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs. While many women are making tremendous strides in the business world, they still face obstacles as entrepreneurs. MBDA serves as an advocate for women’s economic empowerment by supporting efforts to advance women’s equality and promote women economic advancement programming. The vision of EWOC is to ensure that women worldwide across the worldto reach their economic potential.

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