Nashville Minority Business Center kicks off MED Week activities

Pictured left to right: Steve Engelmann, Marilyn Robinson, Nancy Vincent, Myron Dowell (photo by Cass Teague).

Pictured left to right: Steve Engelmann, Marilyn Robinson, Nancy Vincent, Myron Dowell (photo by Cass Teague).

The Nashville Minority Business Center (MBC) held a Business Matchmaking for Construction event at the offices of Baker Donelson in downtown Nashville as the first event of this year’s annual Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week). The goal of the program on November 6 was to boost small business growth. The event was held in the Baker Donelson Conference Center, 211 Commerce Street, Nashville.

The Business Matchmaking for Construction Contractors event was a specialized business-to-business matchmaking and marketing session offered by the Nashville Minority Business Center (MBC) and major prime contractors in the middle Tennessee area. Its purpose was to match small specialty subcontractors with large and medium size construction firms that do business with federal, state and local government agencies and large corporations. The goal was to stimulate economic growth and expand business opportunities for small construction contractors.

“This is a marketing and capacity building program designed to assist small contractors that are historically under-utilized by ‘matching’ small companies with prime contractors that seek to operate non-discriminatory business,” according to organizers. “The program’s goal is to stimulate jobs and growth for small contractors by taking advantage of opportunities that are normally not available due to limited marketing and outreach.”

The specified format for the construction contractors business matchmaking face-to-face meetings was rigidly structured to maximize time spent in each session. Eighteen 15-minute appointments were made available to the following trades: Concrete, Masonry, Electrical, Demolition, HVAC, Waterproofing, Painting, Roofing, Plumbing, Drywall, Flooring, Construction Waste Management, and Metal Fabrication.

Each participant was allotted two minutes to introduce their company and give a brief company overview, followed by three minutes to describe their construction experience and capabilities, three minutes to describe past successful projects, and conclude with five minutes to interact with the company representative and learn more about opportunities and next steps.

“Business matchmaking for construction match small specialty subcontractors with large and medium size construction firms that do business with federal, state and local government agencies and large corporations” said organizers. “The goal is to stimulate jobs and economic growth for Nashville’s and middle Tennessee’s small contractors.”

The Nashville MBC coordinates existing resources in the public and private sectors for minority business enterprises, offers a full range of management and technical assistance services, and serves as a conduit for information and assistance to and about minority businesses. The Nashville MBC also expands existing minority-owned businesses, minimizes business failures among minority entrepreneurs, encourages state and local government to increase contracting with minority-owned businesses, and disseminates construction plans and specification to small and minority-owned businesses.

Established in 1984 through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, the Nashville Minority Business Center is the leading, oldest and continuously operating minority economic institution in Middle Tennessee. With the leverage of public and private sector resources, the Center has been instrumental in ‘helping to create economic independence for minorities’ for 30 years.

MBC Primary program elements include: The One Fund (a low interest alternative capital fund), Minority Enterprise Development Week Business Development Conference, Contractors Plan Room, Management and Technical Assistance, Public Policy Advocacy Initiatives, Education and Training and Community Outreach and Marketing.