The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce operates with a determination to embrace the needs and aspirations of every segment of our community. We acknowledge the essential role that the creation and profitable operation of business plays in the broader economy.

As people in business and as an association of businesses, the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce promotes the capabilities, capacity and value of businesses of African descent to Minnesota communities and its economy. Without a specific, concerted effort to create, launch and retain our businesses, endeavors to widen the number of individuals who become entrepreneurs and/or start businesses in traditionally disenfranchised communities are often made in vain and/or do not come to fruition. Experientially, MBCC finds this to be especially true among traditionally economically distressed populations among us.

By having a robust, active Chamber,community members are able to directly see the results of high-impact strategies that bring established businesses together with start-up and medium sized business enterprises throughout the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to the growth, retention, and vitality of its member businesses.
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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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The Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) continues to work diligently to serve its mission, members, and the community. In the late 1990’s, our founders organized the chamber in response to the needs of Minnesotans of African descent striving to achieve the American Dream and has evolved into a means of economic empowerment. Thirteen years later we continue to strive to achieve. Through these challenging times we continue to persevere, embrace the time, and embrace our work.
MBCC has built a strong collaborative organizational framework that reflects the people, businesses, and communities it serves.

Today, the MBCC is gaining prominence across all communities. Its’ progressive leadership is giving voice to the importance of economic development and job creation while directing attention to the issues that affect entrepreneurs and small business resulting in greater influence, positive perception in the marketplace, strategic alliances, and economic development for its member businesses, supporters, and the community of African descent.

MBCC works to create an example for others to follow. Since 2011, MBCC has primarily focused on: 1) Business Economic Development – B2B programming; access to capital; job creation; 2) Business Leadership Development – internship program; college scholars fundraising; and 3) Organizational Infrastructure – building the chambers total capacity. MBCC believes that if we harness our energies and shepherd our collective resources, our investments will pay off by way of:

1) More businesses of color in the state of Minnesota;
2) More Minnesotans working in good jobs, earning good wages; and
3) More businesses of color that permanently keep their business doors open.

As a statewide organization, MBCC is committed to expanding its capacity to represent the emergent market of entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them grow, expand and flourish in the blended marketplace of ideas, commerce and community.

In the coming year we will continue our work to strengthen the Chamber’s voice, getting our message out through new and creative means. We will use the technology that is at our fingertips to reach new audiences, but hold fast to the face-to-face contact that has bound us together as a people through generations and centuries before. We will continue to call attention to the state of the economy and its impact on small business owners, as well as bring forth the message inside our Legislative Halls around the important role that business plays in creating jobs and revitalizing the community. We will tell legislators and policy makers we stand ready to join with them in pursuit of wealth creation, but that our hands are tied without the necessary capital to make our economic engines roar. We will work to bring to the forefront the faces of the businesses of African descent to consumers across the state of Minnesota . . . promoting our businesses, strengthening our membership base, and inviting people across the nation to patronize the businesses we have so carefully birthed, built and opened its doors. The MBCC will continue to aggregate its voice with those of other ethnic communities to have a positive impact on us all.

As president, my vision is of an authentic, progressive ‘new era’ chamber that engages business, civic, government, educational, and community leaders resulting in greater influence, positive perception in the marketplace, strategic alliances, and economic development for its member businesses and direct benefit to the community of African descent. In the future when business owners, corporate partners, and the communities are asked ‘why’ they support the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce – and they respond, “It’s good for business”, THEN we will know we have arrived.

- Lea Hargett, President January 2013