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Andrea Harris, President Of The North Carolina Institute Of Minority Economic Development, to Receive The U.S Department Of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Abe Venable Award

Written by Featured Organization on 03 December 2012.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced that it will honor Andrea Harris, President of the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development with the Abe Venable Award for Lifetime Achievement. Appointed by President Nixon, Abe Venable was the first person to head the Office of Minority Business Enterprise. This national award is given to an individual who has played an integral role in the creative, technical or professional progress of the minority business community over the course of his or her life. Harris will receive the award at the annual MED Week Awards Luncheon on December 6th in Washington DC during the two-day national MED Week conference.

For 25 years, Andrea Harris has served at the helm of the Institute, a statewide economic development nonprofit organization. The Institute aims to reduce the disparities that persist for minority and women owned businesses in procurement opportunities, access to capital, and strategic management capacity.

Harris recognized at the onset that sustained impact requires more than the implementation of effective programs at the Institute. It requires strategic collaboration. This vision became her resounding mantra. She is the driving force behind the development of a comprehensive, statewide minority and women business development ecosystem unlike any in the nation. This ecosystem is comprised of governmental agencies, policymakers, corporations, service providers, financial institutions, and universities – all working in partnership towards a common goal of promoting true equity in the advancement of small business development.
Event DetailsWhat: 2012 MED Week Awards LuncheonDate: Thursday, December 6, 2012Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DCTo register: Visit
For more information, please contact: Farad Ali:  919.956.8889  •

This year marks the 30th annual MED Week, the largest federally sponsored event dedicated to enhancing the development of minority-owned businesses in the United States.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an agency within the US Department of Commerce that promotes the growth, development and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses through a network of Business Centers. In addition to its programs and business centers, MBDA fulfills these goals through its signature event, Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, the largest federally sponsored event focused on minority enterprise development in the United States.

The milestone 30th anniversary of MED Week is scheduled for December 5 – 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. Thousands of minority-owned firms attend this event each year, seeking unparalleled opportunities to grow their businesses domestically and internationally. The 2012 theme “Job Creation in America: Build it Here – Sell it Everywhere” echoes the current goal for growth in the evolving American economy, with an emphasis on the global marketplace, which is statistically a strength for minority-owned businesses.

MED Week is focused on maximizing connections between minority-owned firms and public and private sector buyers by developing partnerships among firms across multiple industry sectors. Scheduled MED Week events include business-to-business matchmaking sessions, educational workshops, global networking opportunities, and the popular MED Week Awards Program.

Business-to-business matchmaking sessions pair corporate procurement officials and capital providers with minority-owned firms. This proven tactic helps to form new business partnerships between the two groups. Workshop topics focus on access to resources, including capital, contracts, markets, and emerging industries, in order to help minority-owned businesses pursue larger projects and partnerships.
Minority-owned firms are nearly twice as likely to participate in exporting and other international business, and MED Week helps to facilitate and grow new opportunities in this sector. International networking events include activities with embassy officials and global business-to-business receptions are scheduled at several international embassies of several countries with rapidly growing markets.
In addition to its business opportunities, MED Week is also known for addresses by prominent names in commerce and government officials. Last year speakers included Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank and MBDA National Director David A. Hinson.
Finally, the MED Week Awards Program honors top minority-owned firms, entrepreneurs and advocates from across the country. Top awards include the Access to Capital Award, Minority Export Firm of the Year, Minority Manufacturer of the Year, Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award.

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