MBDA Invests $2.5M in First-Ever Capital Project


Agency launches a grant competition to generate greater access to capital for minority-owned businesses

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has announced a competitive solicitation for candidates interested in operating a new MBDA Capital Project. MBDA will award one cooperative agreement totaling $2.5 million over a five-year period – from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2021 – to operate the project in any of the 50 states or Puerto Rico.

The Capital Project, the first of its kind in the Agency’s history, is designed to serve as a hub for minority business enterprises (MBEs) across the country seeking financing solutions to grow and expand their businesses. It is a key component of the Agency’s overall portfolio of business development services that will result in MBE clients securing debt, equity, mezzanine financing and alternative sources of capital.

“Access to capital remains one of the most prevalent barriers for the creation, expansion and growth of minority-owned firms,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The new MBDA Capital Project is an important investment that will help minority-owned firms secure financing to grow their businesses, create jobs, and continue to contribute to a stronger U.S. economy.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the U.S. rose from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8.0 million in 2012, a 38 percent increase. However, considerable disparities remain between their revenue and the revenue of nonminority-owned companies. The Capital Project is part of the Agency’s commitment to addressing these disparities by increasing financing opportunities for MBEs.

MBDA invites applications from for-profit entities, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, American Indian Tribes and educational institutions to apply to operate the MBDA Capital Project.  A pre-application teleconference is scheduled for May 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time to learn more about the competition and application procedures. Participants must register at least 24 hours in advance of the teleconference.

Applications are due June 15, 2016.

MBDA is looking for applicants to demonstrate:

    •    Experience within the financial industry.

    •    Knowledge of business sector and strategies for enhancing business growth, expansion and capacity building related to financing.

    •    Experience with securing large scale traditional and alternative financing.

   •    Experience in successfully preparing, matching facilitating and closing financial transactions.

    •    Professional working relationships and national network with financial institutions.

    •    Experience with advising business clients on strategies for enhancing business growth.

    •    Experienced and qualified staff to operate the project.

More information can be found at www.grants.gov or www.mbda.gov.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDA, www.mbda.gov, is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Our programs and services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. Services are provided through a network of MBDA Business Centers. After 45 years of service, MBDA continues to be a dedicated strategic partner to all U.S. minority-owned businesses, committed to providing programs and services that build size, scale and capacity through access to capital, contracts and markets. Follow the MBDA on Twitter @usmbda.

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