"Cities and municipalities with emerging entrepreneurial economies are those that have leadership that promote and embrace entrepreneurialism at the ground level," said MBDA's Joann Hill, chief of the office of business development. She added that the locations that were top ranked have this already in place.
Another factor that allows minority-owned businesses to flourish is a local community that supports these businesses regardless of whether they're retail storefronts or tech companies, according to MBDA national director Alejandra Castillo. Location in a community that is rich with diversity undoubtedly helps to make this a reality. "The population sees minorities start businesses and then become job creators within those communities," Castillo said.
The ability to bid for and win government contracts at local, state and federal levels helps minority-owned businesses develop new and better opportunities, according to the MBDA. This is something Cora Williams, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Ideal Electrical Supply has seen firsthand. The company, launched in 1991, is a wholesale distributor of electrical and industrial products that employs 21 people.
"It's easy to get access to opportunities," Williams said of the D.C. area. "But it's hard to get the business — it's very competitive. We are competing with companies that have better buying power, stronger relationships and more money."
Williams adds that D.C.'s local government makes resources readily available for smaller companies to get off the ground, and the fact that both the Small Business Administration and the MBDA are located there also help.