Minority Enterprise Development Week in Baltimore

IMAGE: Mayor Rawlings-Blake kicks off Minority Enterprise Development Week in Baltimore

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Minority Enterprise Development Week in Baltimore

Week of activities will highlight local minority- and women-owned firms, offer access to tools and resources

BALTIMORE, Md. (October 20, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake kicked off Minority Enterprise Development Week, which will take place Monday, October 20 through Friday, October 24, to bring attention to minority- and women-owned businesses (MBE/WBEs) across Baltimore. The mayor also announced the formation of the Mayor's Mentor Protégé Program (MMPP), the first City-sponsored program designed to foster partnerships between successful large enterprises and emerging small, minority-, and women-owned businesses.

"My administration remains committed to expanding opportunities for businesses across Baltimore," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Successful small, minority-, and women-owned businesses are integral to a growing city, but minority- and women-owned businesses continue to face steep challenges. That's why I am so excited about the potential of the Mentor Protégé Program, which will accelerate the MBE/WBE community and supplement our ongoing efforts to make Baltimore an entrepreneurial mecca."

The Mayor's Mentor Protégé Program (MMPP) will provide opportunities for participants to improve their business practices, develop relationships with other companies, and promote their own businesses. The formation of the MMPP was prompted by a recommendation from the Mayor's Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business in its report, A New Day, A Better Way.

The program is designed to reduce the number of small businesses in the Baltimore region that do not succeed, and to provide relation-building and training opportunities, enabling protégés to eventually become mentors.

The new program incorporates three models:

Traditional Mentor/Protégé: Mentors in this model are prime contractors and leaders in industries such as construction, healthcare, tourism, professional services, or technology, who agree to mentor smaller minority- or women-owned businesses in the same field.

  • Mentor :Barton Malow, Benjamin Morgan, VP
    Protégé: Namdi Iwuoha, CEO, Avalon Consulting Services

Public-Private Partnerships: The Mayor's Office of Minority and Women Business Development will find specific private sector partnerships to participate in this model. These mentors may self-select their protégés based on the needs of a specific project.

  • Mentor: Beatty Development Group, Michael Beatty, President
    Protégé: Verde Development Group, Martin Richardson, CEO
  • Mentor: Armada Hoffler Construction Company, Tim Hodges, Project Executive
    Protégé: Legacy Builders & Construction Services, Inc., Jimmy Stewart, VP Business Development & Kinya Stewart, President and CEO
  • Mentor: Poole & Kent, Tom Lynott, Vice President
    Protégé: Aegis Mechanical Corp., Barnett Carroll, President & CEO
  • Mentor: Rosendin Electric, Bennett Rhodes, Baltimore Division Manager
    Protégé: Brown-Tisdale Inc., Chet Brown, President

Minorities Helping Minorities—Lift as We Climb: This model is motivated by minority- and women-owned businesses helping or supporting each other as they grow and experience success. The following minority businesses have agreed to be mentors:

  • Mahagony, Jeff Hargrave, CEO
  • M. Luis Construction, Cidalia Luis-Akbar, CEO
  • King, King and King, Pamela King, CEO
  • The Aspen Group, Armentha "Mike" Cruise, CEO
  • Chester Engineers, Robert O. Agbede, CEO
  • Stella May Contracting, Stella Miller, CEO
  • P&J Contracting, Pless Jones, CEO

During MED Week, the City will host a series of events to recognize and strengthen regional MBE/WBEs, including a City of Baltimore Procurement Fair with over 50 exhibitors, a tour of a Baltimore MBE/WBEs, and M/WBE Wednesday—a day dedicated to promoting minority- and women-owned businesses.

The mayor will host the 8th annual Top 100 MBE Awards on Thursday, which will highlight the region's most extraordinary MBE/WBEs. The week will culminate with the Women's Business Summit Breakfast, titled "Rescuing Superwoman: Part II."

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