Q. What is the purpose of the Minority Business Accelerator (MBA)?
A. The mission of the Minority Business Accelerator is to expand the minority entrepreneurial community in the Cincinnati USA region, by helping to accelerate the growth and development of sizable African-American and Hispanic owned businesses.
Q. What kind of work does the MBA do?
A. The MBA does work on two fronts:
- Supply: We provide management and financial consulting to accelerate growth and maintain long-term sustainability to a portfolio of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) firms.
- Demand: We provide identification and facilitation access to contracts for products and services by local corporations for the portfolio and other diverse firms.
Q. How many firms are in the MBA Portfolio?
A. The MBA portfolio currently has 30 firms. These 30 firms represent a variety of industries including construction, facilities management, packaging and consulting.
Q. How long has the MBA existed?
A. The MBA began work in 2003 and was derived from the recommendations of Cincinnati Community Action Now Commission. The MBA was created to address disparity in the region’s business community with the goal to drive economic activity and increase employment in underemployed segments. Currently, firms in the portfolio employ over 3,500 workers, 50% of which are minorities and 40% are women.
Q. What is the “Spend Goal Campaign?”
A. The spend goal campaign provides a focal point for local supplier diversity efforts. The campaign encourages corporations to set goals to buy products and services from local minority firms. The initial goal, set by eight corporations in 2005, was $150 million. Currently, there are 40 local corporations and nonprofit organizations that commit to an annual spend goal. In 2014, these goal setters spent over $1 billion.
Additionally 80% of the MBA portfolio firms have made commitments to spend with other local minority firms. Corporations participating in the spend goal campaign are supported by the efforts of the MBA to increase their utilization of minority firms and their diversity spend.
Q. What are the qualifications for a firm to be invited to be part of the MBA portfolio?
A. MBA portfolio firms are sizeable, high-growth-potential, African-American and Hispanic owned minority-business enterprise companies. Qualifications for inclusion include, but are not limited to the following:
- Annual revenues of $1 million or more.
- Business plan or defined growth strategy that indicates strong potential for accelerated growth in 2-5 years.
- Certification as a minority business enterprise by a third-party agency such as the local minority business supplier development council or a government agency.
- Headquarters or a significant presence in the Cincinnati USA Region. (3 states, 15 counties in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southwest Indiana).