A Year of Innovation and Change

Dev Sanyal

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair allows the Council to reflect, but also requires us to plan for an uncertain future.

2016 was a year of innovation and change for the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (ChicagoMSDC). As we celebrate our 50th anniversary of the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair, we reflect on our accomplishments and the challenges still ahead. We have made huge strides in advancing the cause of supplier diversity since our founding in 1968. Today, many government agencies and progressive corporations understand the value of a diverse supply chain and equal access for minority entrepreneurs. But this progress cannot make us complacent. 

Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilant in demanding social and economic justice for all minority communities, as one cannot exist without the other. We must voice our support of the programs, like the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America. 

Last year, ChicagoMSDC was selected to operate an MBDA Export Center which will help MBEs break into global markets. This new addition complements our robust suite of technical assistance resources for minority businesses which includes MBDA Business Centers in Chicago and St. Louis; an MBDA Capital Access Center in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth Chicago (ACG); and an MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). 

ChicagoMSDC relies heavily on our ongoing partnership with the MBDA to continue its critical work of growing our economy and creating opportunities for minority businesses. It has been reported that MBDA is one of the federal agencies slated for defunding this year. Please join me in urging the Trump Administration to support the MBDA. Contact your elected officials today. With the United States on its way to becoming a minority-majority by mid-century, minority business is American business and the economic future of our nation depends on its success.

Here’s to 50 more years of thought leadership in minority business…

Shelia Morgan 
President & CEO