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MBDA Announces New Grant Competition to Create Jobs and Grow Businesses

for immediate release
Contact: Velicia Woods


Agency makes $10.2 million available to launch MBDA Business Center program in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2015) — Today the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) launched a search for prospective partners to operate their newly improved business center program. MBDA plans to award 29 individual cooperative agreements to operate MBDA Business Centers beginning April 1, 2016. The awards will cover a 5-year period and total $10.2 million annually. The centers will be located in areas with substantial minority populations and minority-owned firms.  

“Our new and improved business center program was developed based on performance outcomes of our most successful centers and where we’ve had the most impact,” says MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Under the new program, the nationwide business center network is more integrated, places more emphasis on collaboration, and was designed to ensure the quality and consistency of service delivery throughout our nationwide network of business centers,”  

MBDA is looking for organizations to deliver business consulting services to minority-owned firms, providing them increased access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments. Successful applicants will be those that have experience in assisting minority firms with obtaining large scale contracts and financial transactions; accessing corporate supply chains; facilitating joint ventures, teaming arrangements, mergers and acquisitions; conducting export transactions; and performing minority business advocacy.

The following types of organizations are encouraged to apply:

  • for-profit entities
  • non-profit organizations
  • state and local government entities
  • Native American tribes
  • educational institutions

Applications are due December 3, 2015. More information can be found on at or A pre-application teleconference will be conducted October 15, 2015 to provide background information and answer questions about the program and application process. Details are on

MBDA will announce more funding opportunities in coming months for additional cities and programs.

This grant competition is to operate business centers in these locations:
Albuquerque, NM Miami, FL
Atlanta, GA Minneapolis, MN
Chicago, IL Mobile, AL
Cleveland, OH New Orleans, LA
Columbia, SC Orlando, FL
Dallas, TX Philadelphia, PA
Denver, CO Phoenix, AZ
Detroit, MI Raleigh or Charlotte or Durham, NC
El Paso, TX San Antonio, TX
Honolulu, HI San Jose, CA
Houston, TX San Juan, Puerto Rico
Indianapolis, IN Seattle, WA
Las Vegas, NV New York, NY or Northern New Jersey
Los Angeles, CA Washington, DC or Northern Virginia
Memphis, TN  


About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA,, 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 us on Twitter @usmbda.



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