February 01, 2011
LaVERDAD, SmartIT Named to MBA Portfolio
The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA), the economic inclusion initiative of the Chamber, announced two new members to its portfolio of companies. This brings the total number of portfolio companies to 36.
LaVERDAD Marketing & Media is an award-winning, full-service Hispanic marketing firm providing marketing research, advertising, communications and public relations services. LaVERDAD was founded in 2003 by Mike Robinson, a former U.S. Army Green Beret and global manager at Procter & Gamble. LaVERDAD is quickly becoming one of the largest and most recognized firms bringing ethnic consumer insights and marketing strategies to Fortune 1,000 companies such as Cintas, Toyota and Procter & Gamble.
SmartIT Staffing, Inc. provides information technology staffing solutions and talent acquisition services to organizations of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 Companies. The company was founded in 2005 by Karen Cooper, a veteran of the IT staffing service industry. SmartIT has more than 125 employees and has been recognized as an Inc. 500 recipient the last two years.
The mission of the MBA is to accelerate the growth of sizable minority businesses and expand the minority entrepreneurial community, thus enabling minority-owned firms to create jobs and overall wealth for the regional economy.
The MBA works on both the supply and demand side of procurement. Through work with the MBA portfolio companies, it improves the capacity of local minority-owned businesses to serve as suppliers to corporations. Concurrently, the MBA works to secure an annual spend from local corporations to procure goods and services from minority-owned firms.
The MBA focuses on growing sizable minority-owned businesses based on the belief that those firms have the greatest potential to have the biggest impact on the region.
In 2009, the MBA secured commitments by 24 local corporations to spend $405 million in goods and services with local MBEs. The collective revenue of MBA portfolio firms has grown from $95 million in 2003 to $460 million in 2009. This represents an increase of almost 385 percent.
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