The State of California boasts the country’s largest economy, with a state GDP of over $3 trillion in 2018. And within the state, the largest economy by far is Los Angeles County, which had a population of over 10 million and a gross economic output of over $700 billion in 2018. Not surprisingly, the area is a magnet for entrepreneurs, many of whom are minorities. That’s one reason why LA offers one of the most robust MBE programs in the country through the MBDA Business Center of Los Angeles.
What Is the MBDA Business Center of LA?
The MBDA Business Center of Los Angeles is part of a national network of 40 business centers funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. Operated by the University of California in partnership with the city of Los Angeles and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the centers (there are two of them) recognize that minority-owned businesses are an ever-growing segment of the regional economy and work to support them in a variety of ways. In the six-year period from 2007 through 2013, the MBDA Business Center secured $400 million in contracts and $104 million in financing for LA’s minority-owned businesses.
The MBDA Business Center of Los Angeles offers four types of fee-based services to eligible MBEs: access to markets, access to capital; strategic business consulting, and strategic alliances. Here’s a brief rundown on each one.
Access to Markets
These programs are aimed at giving MBEs greater access to contracting opportunities and subsequent revenue growth. Activities include assistance with:
- Identifying procurement opportunities
- Developing strategic alliances with private industry executives and government agencies
- Bid proposals and solicitations
- Negotiating and closing deals
- Conducting market analysis and developing marketing plans
- Gaining access to global markets
- Developing joint ventures, teaming arrangements and strategic alliances
- Mergers and acquisitions
Access to Capital
With the goal of helping MBEs get the financing they need to support business growth, the Access to Capital program assists business owners with activities such as:
- Identifying appropriate financing opportunities
- Developing alliances with banks and other lending institutions
- Brokering financial transactions
- Securing financial assistance such as bonding, leases, and mezzanine financing
- Cost analysis
Additionally, the agency conducts financing forums and networking events that connect clients with potential sources of capital.
Strategic Business Consulting
Aimed at providing established MBEs with the tools they need to grow their businesses, this program includes assisting clients with activities such as:
- Marketing and advertising, including market research, sales forecasting, feasibility studies, promotion, designing printed materials and more
- Financial management, including break-even analysis, cost accounting, general accounting, capital budgeting, and tax planning
- Operations, such as facility leasing, bid preparation, and international trade assistance
- General management, including organizational structure, corporate policymaking, business planning, and legal services
Through this program, MBDA-LA helps MBEs identify the types of business alliances most suited to their firm’s business model and stage of growth. These may include a number of opportunities, including:
- Contacts and joint contracts
- Mentoring relationships
- Supplier relationships
- Strategic partnerships
- Joint ventures
To participate in the MBDA Business Center programs and services, your firm must be at least 51 percent owned or controlled by a member of one of the following disadvantaged minorities:
- African Americans
- Asian Indian Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Pacific Islander Americans
- Native Americans (including Alaskan American, Alaska Native Corporations and Tribal entities)
- Hasidic Jewish Americans
The business also must have gross annual revenue of $1 million or greater or be in one of the following industries:
- Green technology
- Clean energy
- Health care
- Broadband technology
Additionally, interested firms will need to pay an annual membership fee and the cost of any fee-based services they wish to participate in. To obtain a fee schedule, contact the City of Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees are also detailed in the Client Engagement Packet, which is available here.
The Carmoon Group Ltd. is a full-service insurance broker located in Hicksville, New York. Our seasoned professionals have over 20 years of experience servicing the needs of businesses across the United States. We offer comprehensive insurance programs, risk management plans and access to capital to qualified businesses. Just give us a call today to schedule your free consultation with one of our staff. Or if you prefer, reach out online and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.