Next year, minority owned businesses can look to the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) for funding opportunities.
Initially, the agency is seeking a cooperative partner to operate a business consulting project in the San Francisco Bay Area. Agency officials say they “are looking for creative solutions utilizing alternative workspace arrangements and creative customer engagement from established organizations in the minority business arena.”
The outcome could mean the opening of MBDA Business Centers operating with significantly less overhead and more time to dedicate to clients.
“Alternative workplace arrangements have been successful for many industries (including the Federal Government) and our business model must evolve in a way that enables us to make more of a direct investment in our clients—minority business owners,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, MBDA National Director. “The San Francisco Bay Area has one of the longest average commute times in the country and the cost of office space is extremely high. It is a perfect location to test a new service delivery model that does not rely on having a permanent office location.”
MBDA plans to award one individual cooperative agreement for this project, which will begin operation April 1, 2016. The award will cover a 5-year period with total funding of $1.9 million to serve MBE clients in the San Francisco Bay/Oakland region. A $338 thousand grant will be awarded per year to an organization chosen to provide business development services to minority-owned firms with the goal of increasing their access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments.
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 January 20, 2016.
Later in the year, more funding opportunities will be unveiled for capital/financing, exports and advanced manufacturing.
(CLICK HERE for another article about the MBDA.)