2024 National Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards Call for Nominations
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For over five decades, the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has played a pivotal role in nurturing the expansion and global competitiveness of the nation's minority business enterprises.  MBDA has been a trailblazer in gaining public acknowledgment of the achievements and economic contributions made by minority-owned businesses, which now number over 10 million.

Since its establishment in 1983, the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards, a pinnacle recognition conferred by the U.S. Department of Commerce upon minority business enterprises has celebrated outstanding accomplishments. With over 300 awards presented, this accolade, bestowed during National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, pays tribute to the exceptional achievements of entrepreneurs and the unwavering commitment of individuals and organizations dedicated to fostering the growth of minority business enterprises.

Three years after the enactment of the Minority Business Development Act of 2021, solidifying the permanence of the MBDA, it remains essential to eliminate barriers, including limited access to capital, networks, and resources, to ensure economic prosperity for all Americans.

Entrepreneurship stands as a potent catalyst for wealth creation, and each day, minority business enterprises contribute significantly to our nation's growth by creating jobs, generating revenue, and stimulating local economies. Through the National MED Week Awards, we continue to empower communities by highlighting individuals who drive the entrepreneurial process from idea generation to developing economically viable and resilient business models. We eagerly anticipate acknowledging, recognizing, and encouraging the well-deserved accomplishments and ingenuity demonstrated within this community in 2024!

Questions? Please email:

medweekawards@mbda.gov

 

 

There are three main award categories:

MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES OF THE YEAR

  • Minority Construction Firm of the Year
  • Minority Export Firm of the Year
  • Minority Manufacturing Firm of the Year
  • Minority Health Products and Services Firm of the Year
  • Minority Emerging Technology and Industries Firm of the Year
  • Minority Marketing and Communications Firm of the Year
  • Minority E-Commerce Firm of the Year
  • Minority Veteran-Owned Firm of the Year
  • Robert J. Brown Minority Business Enterprise of the Year

CHAMPIONS OF MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

  • Access to Capital Award
  • Advocate of the Year
  • Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award

INDIVIDUAL RECOGNITION

  • Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award

Eligibility and Nominations

Who is eligible for an award?

  • The Minority Business Enterprises Awards are open to minority business enterprises, as defined by the Minority Business Development Act of 2021.
  • The Champions of Minority Business Development Awards eligible nominees include, but are not limited, to business owners, business executives, and representatives of local, state and federal governments or nonprofit organizations, universities, colleges, and tribal entities.
  • The Individual Recognition Awards are open to all qualified. 

Who may submit nominations for awards?

  • Nominations may be submitted by individuals or organizations in any category applicable and may be submitted for more than one award category. Self-nominations are also permitted.
  • In addition, nominations may be submitted by MBDA staff or by representatives of MBDA Business Centers.
  • However, nominations may not be submitted by members of the headquarters review panels or by MBDA Selecting Officials.

Award Categories and Evaluation Criterion

Nominations should discuss each criterion referenced in the applicable award category below:

Minority Business Enterprises

Minority Construction Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enteprise that has achieved outstanding success in private or public construction projects and has exhibited revenue and job growth over a sustained period of time.
•    Describe the size, scale and types of construction projects
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome – Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Export Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has achieved outstanding success in penetrating domestic and global markets.
•    Describe how the nominee has penetrated global and domestic markets.
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, or competitive
•    Describe economic impact, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Manufacturing Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has achieved success in employing new and innovative techniques that led to a significant increase in market share, job growth and customer satisfaction.
•    Describe techniques utilized and the results achieved
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Emerging Technology and Industries Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has achieved outstanding success in high-growth industries through the utilization or the delivery of services based on new technologies.
•    Describe new techniques utilized and the results achieved
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Health Products and Services Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has improved the quality and delivery of healthcare through innovation.
•    Describe the improvements and/or innovations to the quality and delivery of healthcare
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Marketing and Communication Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise  who has achieved notable success in the marketing and communication industry by demonstrating creativity and impact.
•    Describe creative approaches utilized in campaigns and new marketing tools developed
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority E-Commerce Firm of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has achieved outstanding success by harnessing the power of
the internet to offer goods and services to other businesses and/or directly to the consumer.
•    Describe the firm’s creative approaches to offering and selling goods in the digital space
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal.
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Minority Veteran-Owned Firm of the Year

Presented to a veteran-owned minority business enterprise that has had achieve success in their industry that has led to a significant increase in job growth and customer satisfaction.
•    Describe techniques utilized and the results achieved
•    Explain revenue growth and number of jobs created/retained over a period of time
•    Specify challenges overcome - Technical, commercial, competitive or societal.
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Robert J. Brown Minority Business Enterprise of the Year

Presented to a minority business enterprise that has exceeded industry standards and achieved phenomenal business success leading to significant growth and job creation, while showing a commitment to social responsibility and strong community involvement.
•    Specify length of time in business
•    Explain growth in revenue and number of employees
•    Explain current and past financial performance
•    Describe innovative techniques utilized and the results achieved
•    Specify challenges overcome-Technical, commercial, competitive or societal
•    Describe economic, environmental or societal contributions

Champions of Minority Business Development

Access to Capital Award

Presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the financial community by providing traditional and/or alternative working or investment capital to minority business enterprises.
•    Documented leadership and advocacy for access to capital
•    Specify dollar value of loans or other financial instruments provided to minority business enterprises or individuals
•    Highlight unique strategies, tools, and/or approaches to increase money invested in minority business enterprises
•    Describe projects implemented as a result of funding

Advocate of the Year

Presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated significant accomplishment in advocating minority business enterprise as an economic force in the global economy.
•    Describe accomplishments related to the nominees’ advocacy efforts
•    Highlight specific obstacles, challenges, or issues championed by the advocate
•    Specify promotion of MBDA as a significant contributor to the success of MBEs in the global marketplace
•    Explain results of the nominees’ advocacy efforts

Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award

Presented to the organization or individual whose business practices have had a significant impact on the growth and development of minority-owned firms.
•    Specify increased dollar values of purchases from minority business enterprises over the past five (or more) years
•    Explain number and types of companies in the nominee’s supply chain
•    Explain number of jobs created
•    Describe innovative strategies or notable improvements to the supplier diversity program

Individual Recognitions

The Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement celebrates high standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment over a sustained period of time. The award is granted to an individual who has played an integral role in the creative, technical or professional progress of minority business development over the course of his/her life.
•    Describe the role played by the nominee in the development of minority business enterprise over the past 25 (or more) years
•    Describe the organization or programmatic improvements the nominee achieved
•    Explain the nominee’s impact on his/her industry

The Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award is inspired by the outstanding leadership of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ronald H. Brown. As the first African-American to serve as the Department’s Secretary, he was a staunch advocate for diversity and business expansion. The Award recognizes individuals who have achieved significant results by promoting diversity, expanding minority business enterprise and demonstrating exceptional leadership in the public or private sector.
•    Describe the innovations and improvements initiated by the nominee and the results
•    Describe the exceptional and effective leadership demonstrated by the nominee
•    Explain the extent to which the nominee impacted the global economy
 

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The information is used by the MBDA to recognize outstanding minority business development activities of national importance and to determine those applicants best meeting the preannounced criteria. No confidentiality for the information submitted is promised or provided except that which is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 522(b)(4) as confidential business information.

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