Minority Business Development Agency

Aug. 29–Sept. 1

Omni Shoreham Hotel

The Industry

MBEs (minority business enterprises)

The Attendees

nearly 1,000 MBE entrepreneurs grabbing for gold links in the global supply chain

The Issues

Let’s Get This Party Started: Free-flowing caffeine, a singer/harpist’s rip-rousing rendition of the national anthem, and early-morning, pre-plenary, and midday pep talks from MBDA National Director Ronald Langston kept attendees primed to shake hands by day and hips by night at the Sponsors’ Lounge, the event’s on-site nightclub.

Selling Yourself: Power networker George Fraser coached crowd members in developing 30- to 40-word self-promotional sound bites—“your personal commercial…to get overloaded people tuned to station W-I-I-I to listen to you.”

Abbreviation Station: SDBs (small disadvantaged businesses), like other MBEs, can tap such resources as FBO (FedBizOpps, a single government point-of-entry, aka GPE) and DSBS (Dynamic Small Business Search Engine) available on DOD’s CCR (Department of Defense’s Central Contractor Register). To qualify for GWACs (Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts, detailed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, aka FAR), be sure to respond to those RFPs and RFQs (requests for proposals and quotes) PDQ.—Rob Tierney