This organization is helping minority-owned businesses thrive statewide with new development center in Birmingham

minority owned businesses, MBDA
We can’t wait to see what the Alabama MBDA Business Center does for the minority-owned business community. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

While Bham Now is a big fan of the small business community, we also love the initiatives behind it that are making the magic happen. Walker’s Legacy is proud to not only support, but to encourage minority-owned businesses as they expand in the Magic City.

MBDAs across the nation exist to provide resources to minority-owned businesses, but recently, Alabama has secured its own chapter right here in the 4th Avenue Historic District. Get the scoop about this new business center and its open house details here.

The “why” behind this program

Creed 63
This building is home to so many great businesses. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

It is easier than ever before for Alabama business owners to secure funding, discover local support and build connections in the business community and The Alabama Minority Business Development Agency (Alabama MBDA for short) is here to help. This local organization, funded by the US Department of Commerce, has helped power small, minority-owned businesses all over the country and will continue to expand their participant list with the new business development center here in Birmingham.

According to their website, they accomplish this by being “strategically focused on filling equity gaps in our small business community, with an emphasis on taking minority business enterprises to the next level of success”.

Through resources like government contracting accelerators, business services and workshops, they get to work one on one with Alabama’s minority-owned businesses. How cool is that?

What are they looking forward to most? Making a difference in the lives of Alabamians by offering resources they may not otherwise receive. Alycia Levels-Moore, Senior Manager for Programs and Partners for Walker’s Legacy is thrilled about the launch—not only for Birmingham, but for the whole state.

“For the state, it opens us up to a world of opportunities and possibilities, especially having the funding and support of the Department of Commerce and being part of a national network of MDBAs. So, it’s a national network of these agencies that exist, and we’re just honored to be able to have one here in Alabama.”

Alycia Levels-Moore, Senior Manager for Programs and Partners, Walker’s Legacy

If you fall into the category of a minority business owner or leader, now’s the time to take advantage of programs like Alabama’s MBDA. To learn more about how to get involved with the program, check out their website.

The 4th Avenue Historic District

4th avenue
Creed 63—located at 5th Ave. N (honorary AG Gaston Blvd.) and 16th Street N. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

A special part of this organization is their location. It’s no coincidence that Walker’s Legacy is located in the 4th Ave. Historic District as it’s home to many Black business owners and known for its rich Black history. It currently sits in the Birmingham Civil Rights District and serves as a reminder of the city’s racial history, while honoring key leaders from the Civil Rights Movement.

This is important to note as we continue to focus on minority-owned businesses and highlight them. Housed in Creed 63, another Black-owned business, Levels-Moore notes that it is great to get to support another Black-owned business in the process of developing this program. Business Center Director, Hezina Dorius, has taken the lead on preparations for the business center and the pair are excited to kick things off on Thursday.

All you need to know for January 13

minority owned businesses
Creed 63 is photo ready for Wednesday. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

Ready to attend their open house celebration? Here’s everything you need to know:

You’ll get to network with local business owners, elected officials, economic development agencies and community members who are invested in small business growth. Register now.

Can’t make it? That’s okay—livestream the event via Facebook.

What to expect:

  • 11AM-11:30AM: Lunch/ Meet & Greet
  • 11:30AM-Noon: Program Speakers: Welcome from the Alabama MBDA, operated by Walker’s Legacy.
  • 1. Ayris Walker, CEO of Walker’s Legacy, Joanne Hill, Chief of Business Development MBDA
  • 2. Donna Ennis, Project Director, Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub
  • 3. Robert Stackpole, Director, Alabama District Office, U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service (In-person)
  • 4. Terri Batch- Director, Global Diversity Export Initiative
  • Noon-12:30PM: Q+A

Want to find out about more business news like this? Check out our LinkedIn for the buzziest news in Birmingham!

Olivia Moses
Olivia Moses
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