October 26, 2010
Minority Business Accelerator continues to grow
The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA), the economic inclusion initiative of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, recently announced two new members to its portfolio of companies. This brings the total number of portfolio companies to 34.
Best Upon Request provides on-site concierge services to organizations nationwide. The service is utilized as an employee benefit and, increasingly, an approach to patient-focused healthcare. In 2009, the American Hospital Association awarded its exclusive endorsement to Best Upon Request.
Best Upon Request is led by its president and CEO, Tillie Hidalgo Lima. Since she was named to the position in 2003, Best Upon Request has grown more than 500 percent.
“Being included in the MBA portfolio at this time has been perfect for us. We want to be innovative,” said Hidalgo Lima. “We want to work through discovering the next steps for us. And partnering with the MBA on this strategy is perfect,”
The second new portfolio company is Vivian Llambi and Associates, Inc. (VLA), a firm specializing in environmental design, landscape architecture, urban design and civil engineering. VLA's clients include corporations, universities, municipalities, health care providers, parks and recreation departments and government agencies.
Vivian Llambi, founder and CEO, is a previous Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year.
“We do not want to succumb to the doom and gloom mentality. We want to grow and embark upon expansion efforts, Llambi explained. “The MBA can help us achieve these goals.”
According to Jilson Daniels, portfolio manager for the MBA, both companies have hit the ground running, already scheduling strategic planning sessions with the MBA. A strong indication that they are primed to find a way to grow and contribute to the local economy.
Best Upon Request and Vivian Llambi & Associates are the first Hispanic-owned firms to join the MBA’s portfolio of companies.
“These two companies are not just racially diverse, but also both run by women and represent industry sectors that are currently not reflected in the other 32 portfolio companies,” said Crystal German, vice president of inclusion and diversity for the Chamber.
In May, the MBA announced expansion plans based on the findings of a Chamber-commissioned study. The expansion includes focusing on non-organic growth of portfolio companies, inviting business-to-government firms to participate in the MBA, establishing specific growth expectations for portfolio firms, and inviting Hispanic firms to join the MBA portfolio to address a high level of disparity in the size and number of Hispanic firms.
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 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.
Additional information about the MBA is available at www.minoritybusinessaccelerator.com.