Agencies Unite for Minority-Owned Businesses
Partnership will increase economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at increasing referrals between the two entities and ultimately increasing economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
“This partnership provides a great opportunity to help more of our nation’s minority business enterprises advance through increased access to capital,” said MBDA National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo. “It is significant to join with an organization that believes in the Agencies Unite for MOBs Partnership will increase economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses power and importance of helping small and minority businesses navigate through capital hurdles so that they can equally compete and have chances at long-term success. It also supports our continued effort in helping to grow, transform and diversify our minority business community.”
The MBDA maintains a national network of 44 business centers equipped with specialists who help the nation’s minority-owned firms grow through access to capital, contracts and new markets. The ICIC is a nonprofit research and strategy organization that aims to strengthen inner-city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. Through its Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, the organization helps small businesses in economically distressed areas access capital, achieve sustainable growth and provide a forum to connect directly with debt and equity providers.
“We are excited to execute the MOU and continue our work together to help minority-owned businesses reach their full potential,” said ICCC Director Hyacinth Vassell. “The ICCC program is well positioned to help minority-owned businesses build capacity and access the capital needed to grow and create jobs in America’s inner cities.”
A major provision of the MOU includes establishing a referral system via which the ICIC will refer minority-owned businesses to the MBDA business center network for business-development assistance and technical support. Likewise, the MBDA business centers will nominate and refer clients to the ICCC for training and education about the opportunities and program offered.
About the Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. Its 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, the 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.
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. Its mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private-sector engagement that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. The ICIC brings together business and civic leaders to drive innovation and action, transform thinking and accelerate inner-city business growth and investment. For additional information, access www.icic.org. Inner City Capital Connections Inner City Capital Connections is a national program that helps small businesses in economically distressed areas access capital, achieve sustainable growth and connect with debt and equity providers. Executive education seminars, provided by top-tier professors from leading entrepreneurship institutions, offer participants an immersion experience in practical skills that range from talent management and entrepreneurial finance to marketing and investor pitch presentations. Participant executives are also matched for intensive coaching sessions with high-profile capital investors, provided through an exclusive portfolio with ICCC’s partners.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency; www.mbda.gov
In 2013, Ericsson made a significant commitment to increasing diversity and continues to hope to inspire others to share in its vision as a prime diversity driver. Ericsson’s mission then was to be the benchmark for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, ensuring that its sourcing function was constantly adding value to Ericsson’s business.
The primary aim of that initiative was to develop mutually beneficial relationships with diverse suppliers, achieved through top-level collaboration, innovation and execution.
A Successful Year
Ericsson’s initiatives for 2014 were to create a world-class diversity program: It offered a matchmaking event, mentorship program, workshops and seminars, two-tier diversity reporting portal, diversity sponsorships, growth opportunities for suppliers and community service. Ericsson is committed to the utilization of minority business enterprises (MBE), women business enterprises (WBE) and disabled veteran enterprises (DVBE) to build a “best-in-class” diversity program. 2014 was a successful year for Ericsson’s supplier diversity program. The Region North America Supplier Diversity team within Strategic Sourcing held its second annual Matchmaker event to promote supplier diversity.
At this event, women-, minority- and disabled veteran-owned companies were invited to meet with category managers within Strategic Sourcing and Ericsson’s stakeholders to showcase their offerings. Most of the companies were new to Ericsson; and its existing diverse suppliers were invited to talk about expanding their offerings to Ericsson. The event was a success, and attendance doubled from 2013.
In 2014, Ericsson had close to 300 suppliers attend, with nearly 400 matchmaking sessions. The company invited speakers from AT&T and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council to address Ericsson’s diverse suppliers about offerings and additional resources.
Ericsson Strategic Sourcing Team
The Ericsson supplier diversity program received many accolades during 2014. Its supplier diversity program was recognized as a Top Supplier Diversity Program for African Americans by Black EOE Journal. Professional Woman’s Magazin
e and Black EOE Journal polled hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies for their Best of the Best, and both magazines named Ericsson’s supplier diversity program as one of the best for 2014.
Ericsson Supplier Diversity Manager Anisha Jackson was named one of WE Texas magazine’s Top 50 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity. She was also recognized as an ambassador by Minority Business News USA for bridging the gap between diverse suppliers and major corporations, as well as for her exemplary track record of making a difference for MBEs. Ericsson won the AT&T Supplier Diversity Crystal Award for a second year in a row, reporting more than 21.5 percent diversity spend with diverse suppliers.
If you would like to partner with Ericsson to become a diverse supplier, please visit its website:www.ericsson.com/supplierdiversity.
2015 Calendar of Events
|June 2015||WBENC Conference|
|October 2015||NMSDC Conference|
|November 2015||Ericsson Supplier Diversity Event|
|November 2015||DFW/MSDC’s E-Awards Gala|
Ericsson, together with its affiliates, is the largest supplier of mobile systems in the world and is emerging as a leader in the fixed broadband systems supporting all major standards for wireless and wireline communications. Ericsson Global Services has been entrusted with planning, building, running and enhancing more networks than any other company. The world’s 10 largest mobile operators are among its customers, and some 40 percent of all mobile calls are made through its systems. Ericsson was founded in 1876 and is present in more than 180 countries. Its global headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden, and its U.S. headquarters are in Plano, Texas.