Program History

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) - Los Angeles

Since 1994, the Mayor’s Office has partnered with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Under the direction of Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, a new Office of Small Business was recently launched to provide information and resources to minority, small and emerging businesses, located in the City of Los Angeles, who are in need of technical assistance, access to capital, and contract opportunities.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic & Business Policy began its new program, formerly known as the Los Angeles Minority Business Opportunity Center (LA MBOC), on April 1, 2011, in partnership with the University of Southern California (USC), the Center operator.  Now called the MBDA Business Center – Los Angeles, the program provides services to eligible minority firms throughout the Southern California region and nationally.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, U.S. Department of Commerce

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) was originally established as the Office of Minority Business Enterprise by President Richard M. Nixon on March 5, 1969. By establishing a federal agency dedicated exclusively to minority business enterprise, President Nixon recognized the impact of minority businesses on the nation’s economy and on the general welfare of the country.

Highlights of MBDA’s history are as follows:

1969: President Nixon signs Executive Order 11458 creating OMBE and the Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprise.  OMBE and the Advisory Council partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct the first Survey of Minority-Owned Business Enterprises.

1971: President Nixon signs Executive Order 11625 and expands the scope of MBDA and its minority business programs by authorizing grants to public and private organizations to provide technical and management assistance to minority business enterprises (MBEs).

1972: The first Survey of Minority Owned Business Enterprises is published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

1973: OMBE establishes a national business service network of business development organizations and provides seed funding to numerous minority advocacy organizations, such as the National Minority Purchasing Council (now known as the National Minority Supplier Development Council), Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Economic Development Association (NEDA), Chicago Economic Corporation and the National Council of LaRaza.

1974: OMBE decentralizes and establishes 6 regional offices and 13 district offices to enhance outreach and the monitoring of the national network of centers.

1977: Executive Order 12007 terminated the Advisory Council for Minority Business Enterprise.

1979: The Office of Minority Business Enterprise became the Minority Business Development Agency.

1981: The Minority Business Development Center program was established and became the MBDA’s primary method for delivering technical and management services to MBEs.  MBDA served ninety-four Metropolitan Statistical Areas and an Information Center was created, which collected, published, and disseminated data and information pertinent to MBEs.

1983: President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12432 giving the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Cabinet Council on Commerce and Trade, broad authority to oversee the establishment, preservation and strengthening of federal minority business enterprise programs.  President Ronald Reagan also signed a Presidential Proclamation designating the first week of October as Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week).

1989: In 1989, the Bush Administration expressed a firm desire to have all Americans participate domestically and internationally in the free enterprise system and called for MBDA to create new national programs and policies. MBDA created a National Franchise Program, added funding for the Native American Business and Trade Association, and also funded the Cities in School program providing training to increase minority youth business and entrepreneurial skills.

1990: Following the First Gulf War, MBDA and the International Trade Administration (ITA) sent a delegation of MBEs to meet with the Crown Prince of Kuwait – this was the first U.S. trade mission to Bahrain.  The success of this mission led to other ITA missions with minority businesses to South America, Aisa, Africa and the Caribbean.

1992: Following the riots in Los Angeles, MBDA assembled a roundtable of federal, state and local government organizations to coordinate and support disaster recovery for local minority businesses.

1995: MBDA executed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITA and participated in several trade missions that provided opportunities for minority business enterprises to export their products to Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and Peru.

1996: MBDA focused on relationships with the private sector with an emphasis on strategic partnerships to assist the growth of minority businesses.  There was also an emphasis on international trade and franchising.

1999: The MBDA Internet Portal was developed to offer online business development services to supplement business consulting services and includes tools such as the Business Plan Writer and matchmaking via the Phoenix-Opportunity database.

2003: MBDA partners with Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business to provide executive training to minority entrepreneurs and to write reports such as “Globalization and Minority-Owned Businesses in the United States: Assessments and Prospects,” which shows minority businesses should begin to think about growing their businesses globally.

2005: The Office of Native American Entrepreneurship and Trade is created at MBDA to help Native American entrepreneurs and business owners raise revenues, generate jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

2006: MBDA releases the State of Minority Business Enterprises based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2002 Survey of Business Owners.  The report concluded that minority firms with annual receipts of $500,000 or more generated a much larger percentage of all minority revenues and paid employees as compared to minority firms with annual gross receipts under $500,000.  MBDA’s Strategic Growth Initiative was launched.

2007: MBDA continued to support economic recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast by adding five new centers throughout Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.  These centers support the inclusion of minority businesses in the reconstruction efforts. 

2009: As the economy continues to present challenges to minority businesses, access to capital is a primary focus.  MBDA plans several meetings with MBEs, financial services companies and minority business community stakeholders to find ways to best serve the needs of MBEs during this critical time. 
Congress Passes Resolution Honoring MBDA's 40th Anniversary

2010: MBDA releases the Capital Access report “Disparities in Capital Access Between Minority and Non-Minority-Owned Businesses: The Troubling Reality of Capital Limitations Faced by MBEs”.  The report provides new findings on disparities in capital access between minority businesses and non-minority businesses after controlling for a number of factors including size of firm and credit worthiness among other.   
MBDA and the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the number of minority-owned firms increased by 46 percent to 5.8 million between 2002 and 2007 according to data from the Preliminary Estimates of Business Ownership by Gender, Ethnicity, Race and Veteran Status: 2007, from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

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