There has been a growing recognition of the importance of promoting and supporting minority-owned businesses in recent years. Minority-owned firms expand the U.S. economy, strengthen local communities, and support greater job creation. However, despite the significant contributions that minority-owned businesses make to the economy, they still face numerous challenges in accessing capital, markets, and business development services.
Diane Lee, Executive Director of the Detroit Minority Business Development Center, has been at the forefront of efforts to address these challenges and support minority-owned businesses’ growth and global competitiveness. As the only Federal Government agency dedicated to the growth of minority business enterprises, the MBDA provides strategic consulting, certification services, and financing resources to help businesses grow and succeed.
At the Detroit Minority Business Development Center, Diane Lee manages the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency grant. She works with grant operator MMSDC to provide these critical services to minority-owned businesses in the Detroit area. Her work focuses on complex business structures, particularly joint ventures, and she sources private and public sector contracts and marketing for businesses grossing over $1,000,000 in annual revenue. She also identifies strategic partners for growth and provides financing resources to help businesses access the capital they need to thrive.
Before her work at the Detroit MBDA Business Center, Diane Lee served as Director of Certification and Integrity Services at the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. In this role, she provided specialized certification assistance to minority-owned businesses, including 8(a) certifications and facilitated global transactions and overseas market promotion.
The Detroit Minority Business Development Center offers a range of core business services, including business development, access to capital, access to markets, and business consulting. These services are critical for helping minority-owned businesses overcome their unique challenges and achieve long-term success.
Business development services include identifying domestic and global export markets, facilitating global transactions, international trade missions, market analysis, and overseas market promotion assistance. Access to capital services includes identifying domestic and global financing opportunities, equity financing, brokerage of financial transactions, and identification and closure of merger and acquisition transactions. Access to market services includes government procurement assistance, private sector contract identification, specialized certification assistance, 8(a) certification, and market research assistance. Finally, business consulting services include sales consulting and forecasting, feasibility studies, operations management and quality control, bid preparation and bonding, and manufacturing facility leasing.
Diane Lee’s work at the Detroit Minority Business Development Center is a shining example of the importance of promoting and supporting minority-owned businesses. By providing critical business development services, access to capital, access to markets, and business consulting, the Detroit MBDA Business Center is helping minority-owned businesses overcome their unique challenges and achieve long-term success. Thanks to Diane Lee’s leadership and dedication, minority-owned businesses in the Detroit area are poised to thrive and contribute to the growth and prosperity of the broader community.
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