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U.S. Department of Commerce: Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Broad Agency Announcement

Deadline: July 11, 2018

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will provide federal assistance to support projects seeking to promote and ensure the inclusion and use of minority enterprises. Funding will encourage new activities, education, outreach, innovative projects or sponsorships that are not addressed through other MBDA programs. MBDA has established key priorities designed to overcome the unique challenges faced by minority business enterprises (MBEs). MBDA is now initiating new approaches to serve MBEs that compliment Presidential priorities and U.S. Department of Commerce goals. These program priorities are separated according to the following 14 initiatives:

1. Access to Capital: MBDA has determined the following challenges that need innovative solutions: Funding will support projects, located in a U.S. state or territory, that facilitate greater access to capital through one or more of the following methods:

  • Support greater use of non-traditional funding for MBEs
  • Assist minority fund managers with accessing capital from institutions
  • Assist investment managers or fund management firms to invest in minority businesses, projects, and/or minority communities

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards will be made under this initiative for a total of $600,000.

2. American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Project: MBDA has identified the following five core needs areas: (a) Access to capital; (b) Business training; (c) Federal program coaching; (d) Business incubators and accelerators; and (e) Infrastructure focused public-private partnerships. MBDA expects to make one award in each designated location: (1) Alaska; (2) California; (3) Northwest Area (including states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington); (4) Rocky Mountain Area (including states of Montana and Wyoming); (5) Western Area (including states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah); (6) Southwest Area (including states of Colorado and New Mexico); (7) Great Plains Area (including states of Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota); (8) Southern Plains Area (including states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas); (9) Midwest Area (including the states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin); (10) Eastern Area (including the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia); and (11) Hawaii.

MBDA anticipates making 11 awards under this initiative for a total of $3,300,000.

3. Aquaculture: Funding will support an innovative project, located in a U.S. state or territory, that demonstrates and executes a strategy to identify and promote minority business owners in aquaculture industries or research institutions with the goal of advancing U.S. marine aquaculture.

MBDA anticipates making one award under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

4. Disaster Readiness: Funding will support innovative project(s), located in a U.S. State or territory, that can increase MBE inclusion in pre/during/post disaster contracting systems at the local, state, or federal level (e.g., National Emergency Resource Registry) ahead of any natural disaster.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $500,000.

5. Disaster Recovery: Funding will support project(s) that can demonstrate a capability for improving local or regional minority businesses who have been affected by natural disasters through, but not limited to: business consulting support; access to contracts (including federal/state/local disaster recovery contracts); access to capital (including preparation of government provided recovery and rebuilding loan programs); and/or access to global markets. Projects can be located in any U.S. Gulf Coast state, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, and in areas impacted by the volcano eruptions in Hawaii.

MBDA anticipates making one to three awards under this initiative for a total of $1,500,000.

6. Entrepreneurship Education Program for Formerly Incarcerated Persons: Funding will support projects, located in a U.S. state or territory, that support formerly incarcerated individuals with entrepreneurship assistance including, but not limited to: (a) educational programs and workshops; (b) entrepreneurial training; and (c) coaching assistance.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

7. Global Minority Women Economic Empowerment Initiative: Funding will support project(s) to assist minority women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and its territories to build their businesses, secure contracts and capital, and increase employment opportunities.

MBDA anticipates making one award under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

8. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative: MBDA will fund projects supporting the White House Initiative on HBCUs ability to: a) compete for federal research and development funds; b) leverage partnerships with federal laboratories and/or technology related resources; c) develop and implement STEM entrepreneurship; or d) compete for federal contracting opportunities. Applicants must be designated as an HBCU and must be located within a U.S. state.

MBDA anticipates making one to three awards under this initiative for a total of $1,000,000.

9. Inclusive Infrastructure Initiative: MBDA will provide federal assistance to support projects seeking to promote and ensure the inclusion and use of minority enterprises in one or more of the following: investment, development, construction, financing, or business support of public and/or private infrastructure projects. Note that this initiative does not fund construction projects. MBDA seeks to fund projects located in any U.S. State or territory. MBDA also anticipates designating at least one award in the state of North Carolina.

MBDA anticipates making one to three awards under this initiative for a total of $1,300,000.

10. Research: Funding will support research project(s) to identify and quantify industry-specific information for and about minority business enterprises that empirically define implications for the U.S. economy. Research could also address potential policy remedies and programs opportunities for the disparities and opportunity gaps. Projects must be located in a U.S. state or territory.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $200,000.

11. Space Commerce: Funding will support a project that promote minority business owners operating in space commercialization industries related to technological advancement. Project must be located in a U.S. state or U.S. territory.

MBDA anticipates making one award under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

12. Sustainable Business Model: Organizations that provide business development services to minority business enterprises (MBEs) sometimes struggle to transition from single-source funding entities to self-sustaining entities. Organizations that can diversify their funding are less susceptible to funding volatility and achieve consistent operations and service delivery. MBDA seeks innovative model(s) and plan(s) that can be readily shared among minority business development organizations to promote sustainable business model(s) for MBEs. Projects must be located in a U.S. state or territory.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

13. Technology Transfer and Commercialization: Funding will support project(s) that demonstrate and execute a strategy to identify minority business owners in high-tech industries with the goal of having them engage with a federal laboratory to explore new product development and commercialization. Projects must be located in a U.S. state or U.S. territory.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $400,000.

14. Virtual Business Center: Funding will support an innovative project that can be readily shared and that addresses the business development needs of minority businesses virtually through a cloud-based tool and applications that provide access to information and resources regarding contract opportunities, sources of financing and/or investment capital, and business knowledge. Projects must be located in a U.S. state.

MBDA anticipates making one to two awards under this initiative for a total of $850,000.

Amount: A total of $11,650,000 is available go make 60-75 awards for a one-year period (see above summary for number of awards anticipated for each initiative).

Eligibility: For-profit entities (including but not limited to sole-proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations), nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, commercial organizations, state and local government entities, quasi-government entities, Indian Tribal governments, Tribal entities, and Native Hawaiian entities.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=306152

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