Looking Backwards, Moving Forward
Meda’s existence is rooted in the belief that the principles of entrepreneurship can be used to create social good. We know that hard work, perseverance and tenacity are the necessary ingredients that every entrepreneur needs to create stronger, more vibrant communities. Here at Meda, we continue to be focused on making a difference by developing minority entrepreneurs and their businesses. We believe that when minority entrepreneurs succeed, everyone succeeds. People are employed, families do better and communities become more economically competitive as a result.
Reflecting on 2015, we implemented, impacted and celebrated. Our commitment to Meda’s vision of creating thriving communities through equal economic opportunity is evident in the following highlights of 2015/2016:
Meda is on the move. In December of 2015, the Board approved Meda’s five year Strategic Framework. We are excited to give you a preview of our Meda’s Strategic Framework. However, stay tuned for our upcoming Annual Meeting on June 20th, 2016 at the Guthrie Theater, where we will unveil a number of new initiatives that will accelerate minority business development.
Realign Meda as the go-to organization to enable minority entrepreneurs to prosper.
- Align the organization to increase its impact on minority entrepreneurs.
- Grow the loan fund from $8 million dollars to $20 million dollars.
- Serve the entire entrepreneurial business lifecycle by leveraging strategic partnerships.
- Expand and diversify funding sources to ensure sustainability and flexibility.
Specifically, Meda has established key performance indicators to:
- Increase the number of minority entrepreneurs using Meda’s services;
- Improve our responsiveness to our customers;
- Launch Meda’s online learning academy for minority entrepreneurs;
- Implement user-friendly intake and referral process for new customers; and
- Establish strategic partnerships to accelerate minority entrepreneurs through the business lifecycle.
2015 results are telling a great story of the impact of Meda’s business development services to minority businesses.
- 59 financial transactions secured nearly $21 million in financing for our customers.
- 514 minority business customers received 11, 500 hours of business consulting services.
- Meda’s loan fund leverage was 6:1.
- Meda’s lending and consulting to minority businesses created 445 new jobs.
- Meda’s minority customers were awarded $44.4 million in government contracts.
2015 Small Business Leader Award for Mission-Driven Lenders
Meda was awarded the 2015 Small Business Leader Award for Mission-Driven Lenders from the Opportunity Finance Network, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Financing Initiative and the Surdna Foundation. This award recognizes Meda’s proven history and excellence in small business lending as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
Ideal System Solutions, Inc. – Elise Hernandez
Elise Hernandez, a Meda Board Member and Meda’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, owns and operates Ideal System Solutions, Inc. In May, Elise made history as the only Minnesota-based, Hispanic, woman-owned business to be among 65 companies awarded a $20 billion government contract.
Minnesota Small Business Administration’s Small Business Week Awards
Patrick Pariseau, Meda Business Consultant, was awarded the Minority Small Business Champion by the Minnesota SBA. Patrick was cited for his outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of Meda’s customers. Patrick’s work has been the driving force behind Meda’s success in seeking and securing loans for minority-owned businesses.
Outstanding Project of the Year Award by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) presented Meda’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center with a national award in recognition of our Veteran Verification Pilot Clinic project.
Annual Recognition Luncheon
Our Annual Recognition Luncheon in June was not to be missed. Lt. Governor Tina Smith’s keynote speech conveyed her and the Governor’s heartfelt commitment to ensuring equitable opportunities for people of color and women in procurement and other opportunities to ensure that everyone can fully participate in our economic, social and political system. We also shared some special comments for our outgoing board chair, Doug Eden, who has served us well as an outstanding leader, mentor, and friend to Meda.
We honored companies and individuals who have demonstrated significant growth, commitment and dedication to the entrepreneurial spirit:
- Charles W. Poe, Jr. Entrepreneur of the Year – Hoyt Hsiao, Shaw-Lundquist Associates
- Corporation of the Year – Xcel Energy
- Meda Legacy Award: Beck Horton
- Volunteer of the Year: Joel Lebewitz
- Community Partner of the Year – Neighborhood Development Center
A special thanks to our presenting sponsor, BMO Harris Bank, and all of our supporters!
Meda Gala: An Evening Among the Stars
Our Annual Gala in November was also not to be missed. One of the hits of the evening was Senator Amy Klobuchar’s remarks that Minnesota’s minority entrepreneurs are an important reason our state’s economy is strong. Target Corporation received recognition for its outstanding contributions to Meda and our Gala over the years. We held our first live auction raffle in Meda’s 30 year history of the Gala. More than 700 people attended to show their support for minority entrepreneurs.
Thank you to our many sponsors, including:
- Target Corporation, Presenting Sponsor
- J.E. Dunn, VIP Reception Sponsor
- Ideal System Solutions, Technology Sponsor
We had a banner year in 2015. We are well on our way to surpassing the accomplishments of 2015 in 2016.
By building minority entrepreneurs, Meda is at the forefront of those addressing racial economic opportunity gaps. Join with us in making a difference by providing your resources, time and energy in helping us reach our goals of a thriving community that works equally well for everyone through equal economic participation.