For Immediate Release
Contact: Leah Kondes, 612-455-1931
Minnesota Nonprofit is MBDA Top Minority Business Center for a Third Year in a Row
U.S. Commerce Dept. recognizes Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association) as the nation’s 2018 top-performing Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) business center
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (Aug. 22, 2018) –Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association), a nonprofit dedicated to helping minority entrepreneurs succeed, was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce for a third consecutive year as the nation’s top performer among 40 other Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers.
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 2018 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 and 2017.
In 2017, Meda helped to create or retain 1,352 jobs in the community. It also provided over 13,000 hours of individualized consulting, supporting African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American and Native-American entrepreneurs. Additionally, Meda helped secure $18.1 million in financing for minority-owned businesses and helped clients win $100 million in contracts.
“I am so proud of this award because it is based on the factor that matter most to our clients: jobs created, revenue growth, and financing and contracts secured. This national recognition further 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 amazing clients, our many deserving partners and Meda’s talented employees.”
According to the 2012 economic census, minority businesses are the fastest 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.
“Minority businesses play an essential role in our communities and economy,” said Cunningham. “With our changing business landscape— and Minnesota’s own increasing diversity — everyone benefits when all people can fully participate in the marketplace.”
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.
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