Entrepreneurship Empowerment Center

Cultivating Growth & Sustainability

The Akron Minority Business Development Center (MBAC) is supported by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) Minority Business Development Division (MBDD) who all support the growth and sustainability of small, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses in the State of Ohio.

Supporting businesses means providing them with resources that include technical and professional assistance, access to capital,  surety bonding, and connection to business opportunities. The Division leverages these resources to support the achievement of the state's 15% Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) set-aside goal, which is overseen by the Department of Administrative Services.

The MBAC and Division works with entrepreneurs, and emerging business enterprises to help them achieve, scale, and market success. The overarching goal is to help small, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses contribute to job creation and economic growth in Ohio.  Contact the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) to schedule an appointment and meet with a Certified Business Advisor. These services are available with no cost to businesses located throughout Ohio.

Services Offered

The Akron Center and all other Centers provide the following services:
  • Accounting assistance
  • Business management counseling
  • Completing federal, state and local certification applications
  • Contract procurement assistance
  • Estimating/Bidding assistance
  • Identifying local resources
  • Loan packaging assistance
  • Marketing plan development
  • Referrals to financial assistance programs

MBE / EDGE Certification 

The MBAC office can assist businesses with the certification process so that the small business owner will have access to many more opportunities, which includes opportunities with the State of Ohio.

“Minority Business Enterprise” (MBE) means an individual, partnership, corporation or joint venture of any kind that is owned and controlled by U.S. Citizens and residents of Ohio, who are and have held themselves out as members of the following socially and economically disadvantaged groups: Blacks, American Indians, Hispanics and Asians.

MBE Program Overview

An Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) participant must be a small socially and economically disadvantaged business enterprise owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are Ohio residents. EDGE establishes goals for state agencies, boards and commissions in awarding contracts to certified EDGE eligible businesses. EDGE applies to procurements of supplies and services, professional services, information technology services, construction and professional design services.

EDGE Program Overview

All forms must be electronically submitted through the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG). If this is your first time logging into OBG, you will need a username and password. Please click on “New User” to create an account. If you need assistance logging in or have any questions, please contact the Ohio Business Gateway office at (614)466-8380. 

Ohio Business Gateway

Access to Capital Loan Programs for Small & Minority Businesses

The Minority Business Bonding Program provides bid, performance, and payment surety bonds to state certified minority-owned businesses that are unable to obtain bonding through standard surety companies.

 Minority Business Bonding Program

These programs will provides fixed, low-interest rate loans to certified minority-owned businesses that are purchasing or improving fixed assets and creating or retaining jobs. 

Ohio Minority Business Direct Loan Program

Contact Natashia Bishop

Telephone: 234.542.4173

Email: nbishop@akronurbanleague.org

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