The 2010 National Minority Enterprise Development conference is happening this week.
Marie Johns is deputy administrator at the Small Business Administration and says there is no time like the present to employ and support small businesses.
“It’s a tough time in the economy, there’s no question about that — but the fact of the matter is, small business is the engine to the economy. Two out of every 3 new jobs are created by a small business, and over half of the people working are either working in their own small business or they’re employed by a small business.”
This is why the SBA is touting the conference this week. Not only is the agency the voice of the small business here in America, Johns says, but they help get the word out about how small businesses can make a difference globally.
“I met with a fascinating group of women business owners [during a recent trip], and one young woman in particular designs jewelry. She’s a one person shop . . . And worked with the [SBA’s] Women’s Business Center to talk about how she might consider international options. She now has the opportunity to sell her jewelry in Paris and London.”
Additionally, the SBA also works to make the world of federal contracting understandable for small businesses. Johns says this will be discussed during the conference, and representatives from both the public and private sectors will be on hand to answer any questions.
“The whole notion of the MED Week experience is an experience to connect — connect small businesses to a variety of opportunities for how they can learn to help their businesses grow [and] help them figure out how to create more jobs. At the SBA, we understand how precious time is for small business owners . . . and we understand the challenges that they face. That’s why we particularly pay attention to making the MED Week agenda one that is full of good opportunities for these small businesses to connect to great opportunities.”
The conference is taking place all this week at the Omni Shoreham Hotel here in D.C.