Pictured: Donna Ennis, Project Director for the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta
ACE is joining forces with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assist and strengthen minority-owned businesses. This organization, based in Atlanta, plans to refer clients seeking funding to ACE.
“If there is one thing a business needs, whether it’s a startup or an established company seeking to move to the next level, it is access to capital,” says Luis Izaguirre, Chief Program Officer for ACE. “I foresee a lot of productive collaboration with the MBDA that will broaden our outreach to minority-run businesses.”
The referrals are expected to flow both ways, says Donna Ennis, Project Director for the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech, which oversees the MBDA. “If ACE is dealing with a minority company that wants to utilize our resources, they can send clients to us,” she says. “ACE is a vital and vibrant organization, and we want to support it in any way we can. I think we will have a great relationship.”
By 2044, the Nation’s prosperity will rely even more on minorities, the fastest growing segment of the population. Entrepreneurship is a sure pathway to wealth creation and a thriving national economy. Today, U.S. Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) represent 29 percent of all firms but only 11 percent have paid employees. If MBEs were to obtain entrepreneurial parity, the U.S. economy would realize 13 million more jobs.
Izaguirre notes that the MBDA is part of a national network of 44 centers throughout the country funded by the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. Strategically positioned within the Enterprise Innovation Institute, the Center is surrounded by a wealth of entrepreneurial services and resources a company can access. Through the Center’s efforts, the organization has strengthened and enabled thousands of entrepreneurs.
Although the MBDA is physically located in Atlanta, Georgia, it can assist clients anywhere in the United States. In addition to the Core Business Services, the Center specializes in helping clients with improving processes and implementing environmental management, sustainability programs, and ISO 9001/ ISO 14000 certifications. Through the Department of Commerce, MBDA, Georgia Tech, and our other strategic partners and stakeholders, MBEs have access to a nationwide community of experts and individuals engaged in technology, innovation, leading-edge business practices, and access to investing capital, among other achievements.