March 5th, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross was present and remarks at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington.
Ross said, A lot of dedicated, passionate people have made it possible for the Minority Business Development Agency to achieve such a milestone. Congratulations! And thank you — to all the people who work in the small but mighty MBDA — for maintaining a five-decade tradition of excellence. Your service is needed now more than ever to assure the success and growth of minority-owned businesses throughout our nation.<
Ross said, The professional staff of MBDA have worked every day for 50 years with minority businesses throughout the country. When the agency was created, there were a scant 400,000 minority-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are 11 million, up from four million in 2002.
When we look at minority employer firms, they generate $1.3 trillion in annual sales and have created more than 8.7 million jobs. That is a very big number, but with today’s fast-growing minority population, we need a lot more that we can grow to size and scale.
Since the agency’s inception, it is estimated that MBDA has worked with more than 13 million minority firms in the United States. And, in just the last five fiscal years, MBDA helped facilitate almost $29 billion in contracts and financing to minority enterprises impacting 111,000 jobs.
One of the most promising avenues to individual prosperity and financial security is owning your own company. It is part of the American heritage and the American dream. And it is the reason so many aspiring people elsewhere in the world want to come to the United States: because it is relatively easy to start a business.
A great feature of the American society is we do not hold failure against anyone who tries. Every serial entrepreneur has had some failures, but they are outweighed by the subsequent successes. Most business start-ups consist of just one or two people initially, and they ramp up from there. With the advent of eCommerce and social media, it is easier than ever before for new companies to gain the attention of large numbers of customers.