Minnesota Nonprofit is MBDA Top Minority Job Creator
U.S. Commerce Dept. recognizes Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association) as the nation’s 2017 top-performing Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) business center
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (Nov. 21, 2017) – Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association), a nonprofit dedicated to helping minority entrepreneurs succeed, was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce as the nation’s top performer among 43 other Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers.
The Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) honored Meda in October, during its annual MBDA National Training Conference in Detroit, Michigan.
Meda’s business center services include business consulting, financing solutions and corporate and government opportunities, such as contracts and funding opportunities. Since its beginning in 1971, Meda has offered guidance to over 20,000 entrepreneurs of color and helped launch more than 550 businesses.
To earn the 2017 recognition, Meda out-scored all other business centers for overall performance, including job creation, financing, contracts and exports secured for clients. The nonprofit earned the same top national honors for its performance in 2016.
In 2016, Meda helped to create or retain more than 1,400 jobs in the community. It also provided over 11,000 hours of individualized consulting, supporting African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American and Native-American entrepreneurs.
“This national recognition confirms the impact of Meda services, and their ability to fuel Minnesota’s economic growth by opening doors for minority business entrepreneurs,” said Gary L. Cunningham, Meda president and CEO. “We share this honor with our many deserving partners and employees, including the greater business community and the State of Minnesota.”
According to the 2012 economic census, minority businesses is the growing segment of Minnesota’s economy. From 2007- 2012, the number of minority businesses grew by 33%, compared to just 3% for non-minority businesses. Minority businesses increased their employment and payrolls at a greater rate than non-minority businesses as well.
“Meda’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year, Jashon Eison, embodies those positive trends,” he said. “In 2012, Jashon turned to Meda for guidance on acquiring and financing a business, and by 2015 he was leading a profitable enterprise that today employs over 50 employees: H&B Elevators.”
The company is now the only African-American owned elevator manufacturer in the nation. Eison has plans to hire dozens more employees and grow the business to $20 million in sales over the next five years. He also serves on the boards of several local nonprofits.
“It takes minority businesses to strengthen our communities and our entire economy,” said Cunningham. “With our changing businesses landscape— and Minnesota’s own increasing diversity — it benefits us all when everyone can fully participate in the marketplace.”
Read more about this award in the Star Tribune’s article, MEDA named top minority business developer by US Commerce Dept., from December 7, 2017.
Meda provides business consulting, access to capital, and market opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. Meda also operates a business development center under cooperative agreement with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Minneapolis MBDA Business Center connects Minnesota Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) with business opportunities.