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The Federal Procurement Center – under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – has a critical mission to support the 9.7 Million Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) throughout the Nation in gaining access to and succeeding in performing Government contracts.

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What Works for Diversity, Equity, and Innovation at the MBDA Federal Procurement Center

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has long been dedicated to supporting and advocating for minority-owned businesses across the United States. However, a recent ruling by a federal judge in Texas has brought the agency's policies into the spotlight, prompting a reevaluation of its approach to promoting, and ultimately advancing diversity, equity, and innovation through servicing clients desiring to grow their business in the federal procurement sector.


The Court's Decision: A Catalyst for Change

The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, challenges MBDA's practice of considering race and ethnicity when determining eligibility for its services. Judge Pittman argued that this approach violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, stating that the agency must offer technical assistance to all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity.


While the decision has sparked debate and controversy, and most likely, an appeal of this decision, MBDA Federal Procurement Center sees the court case decision as an opportunity for the MBDA to reassess its strategies, explore new avenues for fostering a more inclusive and equitable business environment while calculating the true cost associated with complying with this decision.


Seizing the Opportunity: A Call for Increased Funding

One of the key implications of the court's ruling is the potential for a surge in demand for MBDA services. With the agency now required to open its doors to businesses of all backgrounds, it is imperative that it receives the necessary funding and resources to meet this escalating demand effectively. In fact, FAR regulations mandate Government to compensate contractors for services delivered under a contract, grant, or Cooperative Agreement.  As is supported by the Federal Acquisition Regulations, a contracting officer may need to issue an out-of-scope modification if the Government requires an increase or decrease in the scope of work beyond what is contained in the approved statement of work, and which will result in a change to the cost of the contract. 


And as such, Judge Mark Pitman’s decision has created an opportunity for the MBDA to request a larger budget from Congress, enabling it to expand its capacity, and to ensure that no business is left behind in the pursuit of growth and success. By securing additional funding, the agency will be able to invest in developing new programs, hire more qualified professionals, and implement advanced technologies to streamline its operations and better serve its diverse clientele.


Intergovernmental Collaboration: A Seamless Support System

Recognizing the vast array of businesses that may now seek assistance from the MBDA, it becomes crucial to establish strong intergovernmental collaborations and partnerships. Federal agencies must work together to design a cohesive system of services that can be delivered seamlessly, increasing referrals based on client profiles and specific needs.


By leveraging the expertise and resources of various Federal agencies, businesses can be directed to the most appropriate avenues for support, whether it be through the MBDA or other specialized entities. This collaborative approach ensures that each business receives tailored assistance, maximizes its chances of success, and contributes to the overall growth of the nation's economy.


Metric-Based Outcomes: Measuring Success Holistically

The court's decision also sheds light on the importance of adopting metric-based outcomes that can be measured and compared against past performance. By implementing a comprehensive system of data collection and analysis, the MBDA can track its effectiveness in delivering capacity-building services and increasing the supply of small business contractors across various demographics.


Taking a data-driven approach to both examine carefully, and closely evaluate the new court mandate will not only facilitate transparent reporting but will also enable the agency to identify areas for improvement and tailor its strategies accordingly. By analyzing metrics such as the number of businesses assisted, contracts secured, and overall economic impact, the MBDA can demonstrate its value and advocate for continued support from policymakers and stakeholders.


Embracing Technology: Streamlining Processes and Enhancing Efficiency

As the MBDA embarks on this new chapter, it must also embrace the power of technology to streamline its processes and enhance operational efficiency. With the potential influx of clients from diverse backgrounds, leveraging advanced software solutions and data analytics tools becomes paramount.


By implementing robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems, the agency can effectively manage client interactions, track progress, and ensure that many less businesses fall through the cracks at a time when the Federal Government continues to lose a small business supplier base.  Additionally, the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning can aid in identifying patterns, predicting market trends, and providing personalized recommendations to businesses based on their unique needs and challenges.



As the nation's premier MBDA Federal Procurement Center, we stand ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities presented by this transformative court decision. We are poised to leverage cutting-edge technology, engage in unprecedented interagency collaboration, and foster an environment that supports and empowers small, emerging, and minority-owned businesses alike.


We recognize that these businesses are the lifeblood of our nation's economy, driving innovation, creating jobs, and contributing to the overall well-being of our communities. And because of a small business crisis supplying Federal Government with services, products and solutions, It is our unwavering commitment as the nation’s only MBDA Federal Procurement Center to ensure that every entrepreneur, regardless of background, has access to the resources, guidance, and support they need to thrive. The fiscal resources will need to support this commitment to preserve our small business inventory and our diverse, new, and emerging solution providers have a rising demand by Federal Agencies. 


As we navigate this new era of change by the courts, we invite aspiring business owners to join us on this journey. Visit www.mbdafpcenter.com to learn more about our services, upcoming events, and the myriad of opportunities available to those seeking to turn their dreams into reality.


Together, we can build a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous future for all, where innovation knows no bounds, and success is determined by hard work, determination, and a shared commitment to excellence in innovation.



Keith Moore, CEO

Operator of MBDA Federal Procurement Center

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