CLEVELAND--()--To develop wealth and create jobs in communities of color, it’s essential that minority-owned businesses grow and prosper. That’s the goal of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Cleveland Business Center’s conference, “Positioning Your Company for Domestic and International Growth,” to be held March 14-15 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
“Positioning Your Company for Domestic and International Growth”
The conference will provide a hub of business opportunities, possibilities and interactive sessions packed with information for minority businesses wanting to develop their companies domestically and abroad. Minority entrepreneurs from Ohio will be joined by business owners from states including Texas, California, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
“Domestic and global expansion can be difficult for any company, but it can be particularly hard for minority business enterprises,” said Raland Hatchett, executive director of the MBDA Cleveland Business Center. “Our charge is to work with minority businesses to generate increased financing and contract opportunities, which will help these companies create and sustain long-term growth strategies.”
Procurement officers representing more than 40 of the Midwest’s major companies and organizations are bringing biddable contracts and will meet with minority business owners to identify matches for their purchasing needs. In addition, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will present its Expanding Horizons workshop to assist minority businesses wanting to invest in emerging markets.
The conference also features nationally known diversity thought leader Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc, who will address MBEs and host a private session with the procurement officers. The keynote speaker is Allen Gray, a successful Indianapolis businessman and retired purchasing executive with Navistar, a leading global transportation manufacturer. Under Gray’s leadership, Navistar substantially increased its minority hiring and promotions, as well as its diversity spend.
The MBDA Business Center-Cleveland is operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. In its first two years of operation, the center helped MBEs obtain $39 million in awarded contracts, $7.8 million in awarded capital and create 220 new jobs. In both years, the center received “commendable” ratings from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA for its results. www.mbdacleveland.com
The MBDA, www.mbda.gov, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by promoting the growth and global competitiveness of large, medium and small businesses owned and operated by members of the minority and Diaspora communities.