Georgia MBDA Business Center and Siemens USA Announce Winners of Siemens Entrepreneurship Grants

Gavin Ireland, founder of Georgia Green Energy Services, gives a presentation to Siemens and Georgia Tech leaders. (Photo: Allison L. Carter)

Georgia Green Energy Services, an Atlanta-based firm in the electrical construction industry, was recently awarded $20,000 from Siemens USA as part of the technology company’s ongoing commitment to expanding vendor diversity in the supply chain.

 

Founded by Gavin Ireland in 2007, Georgia Green Energy Services is one of nine Black-owned businesses across the country awarded the $20,000 Siemens Entrepreneurship Grant. The companies will join Siemens’ supplier database, which is comprised of more than 3,700 small and diverse businesses. That business segment represents more than a quarter of Siemens’ entire supplier base.

 

“What Siemens is doing is important because it’s impactful for the community and for business owners to be able to see that large corporations are making make these investments,” Ireland said. “It means a lot to me. A lot of times, as minority businesses, we have to work with limited resources, so this investment in us is very important.”

 

Siemens’ announcement was in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the Georgia MBDA Business Center at Georgia Tech.

 

The nine winning recipient businesses were selected from U.S. cities where Siemens has a significant footprint: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Sacramento. These grants, now totaling $320,000 over the past two years, complement the nearly $1 billion that Siemens USA spends annually doing business with small and diverse-owned firms.

 

“What we’re seeking are those minority enterprises that deserve to be highlighted within the whole network — the people who are really making a difference and showing the way and working on things that are absolutely essential to our future,” said Siemens CEO Barbara Humpton during a recent visit to Georgia Tech’s campus, where the announcement was made. “This is about being in a network

From left, Gavin Ireland, 2022 Atlanta Siemens Grant recipient; Leonard Wright, 2021 Atlanta recipient; Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton; Donna M. Ennis, director of the Georgia MBDA Business Center at Georgia Tech’s ’s Enterprise Innovation Institute; Patric Stadtfeld, Siemens USA head of Supply Chain Management for the Americas; David Bridges, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, and Jennifer Pasley Georgia MBDA Business Center program manager. (Photo: Allison L. Carter)

together and working together to create change.”

 

In January 2022, MBDA Business Centers in those cities nominated 37 Black-owned businesses to apply for the Siemens grants. Nominees were selected based on criteria and specialties that aligned with industry demand: preventative and predictive maintenance, fire and security, electrical, construction, rail and transport, mobility solutions, and facilities and project management. The Georgia MBDA Business Center evaluated and selected the winners.

 

In addition to Georgia Green Energy Services, the other selected businesses are:

 

  • Maven Construction – Boston
  • E-Fix Housing Solutions – Charlotte
  • GCC Enterprises, LLC – Dallas
  • Onyx Enterprise, Inc. – Detroit
  • Arbor Electrical Service, Inc. – Miami
  • Evans Electrical Services, Inc. – New York
  • A M Electric, Inc. – Philadelphia
  • AHI Construction, Inc. – Sacramento

 

“Siemens continues to show its commitment to Black-owned businesses through the Siemens Entrepreneurship Grant,” said Donna M. Ennis, C.P.F., director of the Georgia MBDA Business Center and director of Diversity Engagement and Program Development at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “The business community recognizes the importance of diversity and its economic impact on communities,” she said, noting that Georgia Green Energy Services is among the Georgia MBDA Business Center’s roster of clients.

 

“Grants and commitments like these not only provide a critical mechanism to enhance businesses’ viability through these challenging times, but to grow and thrive.”

Siemens Expands Supply Chain Diversity Through $140K in Grants to Small, Black-Owned Businesses

Collaboration with the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency Business Center at Georgia Tech supports diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship

 

WASHINGTON — Siemens USA today announced it will award $140,000 in grants to small, Black-owned businesses for the second consecutive year to support diversity, equity and inclusion in business development and entrepreneurship.

 

Siemens and the Georgia MBDA Business Center at Georgia Tech will select the winning recipient businesses in seven U.S. cities where Siemens has a significant footprint: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, and Sacramento. These grants, now totaling $280,000 over the past two years, contribute to Siemens USA’s annual investment of nearly $1 billion in small and diverse-owned businesses that comprise nearly a quarter of the company’s entire supplier base.

 

“At Siemens, we’ve made it a priority to do our part to help build a more resilient America, one that’s more equitable and inclusive,” said Nichelle Grant, head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Siemens USA. “This is why we want to make significant investments, such as this one, in businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities, among other diverse owners.”

 

The national network of 60-plus MBDA Business Centers and special projects — including the one housed at Georgia Tech — is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.

 

The MBDA Business Centers will nominate up to five finalist businesses for the grants in each city based on criteria that aligns with industry demand, including preventative and predictive maintenance, fire and security, electrical, construction, and facilities and project management. The Georgia MBDA Business Center at Georgia Tech will evaluate and select the winning recipient in each city. The winners will be announced in late February 2022, and each will receive a $20,000 grant.

 

“As we work to build and strengthen America’s economic resiliency, it’s critical that all sectors of the economy share in that,” said Donna Ennis, director of the Georgia MBDA Business Center. “Collaborative initiatives such as this effort with Siemens helps us achieve that mission.”

 

A 2021 White House Council of Economic Advisers report shows “differences in business ownership account for 20 percent of the wealth gap between average white and Black households.” In response to this analysis, President Biden recently announced a goal of increasing the share of contracts going to small and disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent by 2025. Grants such as these will help contribute to the administration’s goal of increasing opportunity for all underserved businesses.

 

“In order to remain resilient as a company, we must be diverse and equitable, which requires us to proactively help to close the representation gap in the supply chain,” said Patric Stadtfeld, head of Supply Chain Management for the Americas, Siemens USA. “We’re proud of our growing supplier database of more than 3,700 small and diverse businesses and will continue to support business development in underserved communities and cities across the country.”

 

Siemens USA is committed to giving businesses owned by minorities, women, the disadvantaged, the disabled, veterans, and other diverse suppliers maximum opportunity to participate in its competitive contracting and procurement processes. Supplier diversity contributes to excellence in the supply chain, leading to growth for Siemens and its suppliers in the marketplace, as well as helping to create social impacts on the changing demographic landscape of the United States. To learn more about Siemens USA’s Supplier Diversity Program, visit here.

 

Learn more about Siemens USA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at usa.siemens.com/diversity.

 

About Siemens Corp.
Siemens Corp.
 is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability, and internationality for more than 170 years. Active around the world, the company focuses on intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems and on automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Siemens brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit customers and society. Through Mobility, a leading supplier of intelligent mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is helping to shape the world market for passenger and freight services. Via its majority stake in the publicly listed company Siemens Healthineers, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital health services. In addition, Siemens holds a minority stake in Siemens Energy, a global leader in the transmission and generation of electrical power that has been listed on the stock exchange since Sept. 28, 2020. In fiscal 2020, Siemens Group USA generated revenue of $17 billion and employs approximately 40,000 people serving customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

 

About the Minority Business Development Agency
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the only federal program solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. MBDA invests in a national network of more than 60 business centers, specialty centers, and grantees. Our programs offer customized business development and industry-focused services to provide greater access to capital, contracts, and markets. With a vision of economic prosperity for all American business enterprises, MBDA programs, services, and initiatives focus on helping MBEs grow today, while preparing them to meet the industry needs of tomorrow. To learn more about the MBDA and its business center network, visit www.mbda.gov.

 

About the Georgia MBDA Business Center
As part of a national network of 60-plus centers, the Georgia MBDA Center helps minority business enterprises (MBEs) access capital, increase profitability, scale, and grow their businesses. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Georgia MBDA Business Center is a program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. To learn more, please visit: georgiambdabusinesscenter.org.

MBDA Centers at Georgia Tech win Century Awards

Staff Award Photo

The staff of the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency Business Center accepts its MBDA Century Club Awards.

The Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center and the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center — two programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology — were both given Century Club Awards at the MBDA’s National Training Conference held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Aug. 20-23.

The MBDA, a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is charged with promoting the growth of minority-owned business through public and private sector programs, policy, and research. More than 40 such centers exist across the country, including the two that are part of Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

The Century Club Awards recognize those MBDA centers across the country that exceed the federally program’s success metrics — scoring above 100 — in a number of areas including job creation or retention, access to financing and capital, and clients served.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center and Atlanta Advanced Manufacturing Center received scores of 120 and 106, respectively.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the two centers reported more than $550.4 million in the value of new contracts, increased sales, bonding and financing to assisted firms, 893 jobs, and served more than 332 minority entrepreneurs served.

“Our goal is to expand business opportunities for our clients, connect them with capital to sustain and fuel their growth and help them increase their bottom-line profitability,” said Donna Ennis, who serves as director of both centers at Tech.

“These awards are a recognition that we are one of the top performing centers in the country and that we’re really focused on strengthening and growing our minority-owned businesses and making a difference.”

Minority business enterprise manufacturers to meet in Atlanta August 15-16 for second annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit

Networking MBDA Summit 2016

Attendees of the inaugural National MBE Manufacturers Summit in Atlanta in 2016 discuss issues affecting minority business enterprises. (FILE PHOTO)

More than 250 minority business enterprise (MBE) manufacturers from across the country will be in Atlanta August 15 and 16 for the second annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2017.

 

The Summit, which is hosted by the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Global Learning Center, brings together world-class leaders in manufacturing and is the premier event that brings industry peers together, facilitates networking and procurement opportunities, and highlights innovation.

 

BMW Group, Enhanced Capital, FORCAM, Grady Health System, Ingersoll Rand, Novant Health, Siemens, and WestRock are Summit sponsors.

 

Among the highlights for attendees of the 2017 Summit:

  • One-on-one fast pitch meetings with corporations and original equipment manufacturers.
  • Experiencing the most cutting-edge technologies through on-site “innovation pods.”
  • High-level exposure for companies participating in the second annual “Poster Walk Competition.”

 

Featured speakers include:

 

“We are building on the success of last year’s inaugural program, and a critical focus of this effort is innovation because it remains a key issue, according to our MBE manufacturers,” said Donna Ennis, Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center director. “Our Summit is designed to facilitate critical one-on-one meetings between our attendees and corporations, as well as provide the opportunity for our MBE attendees to network with one another.”

 

The Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s chief economic development and business outreach arm. A sister program to the Atlanta MBDA Business Center, the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center was created via a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA awarded to Georgia Tech in 2016.

 

One of four such centers across the country, Tech will receive $1.25 million over a five-year period to operate the Center, which is charged with providing targeted assistance to MBE manufacturers. The funding is designed to help identify, screen, promote, and refer MBEs to specialized advanced manufacturing programs, and provide technical and business development services and assist with access to capital, opportunities and markets.

 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, the number of minority-owned manufacturers increased 30 percent between 2007 and 2012 to nearly 107,000. These firms generated $80 billion in annual revenue in 2012. More than 25,000 minority manufacturers employ almost 332,000 workers.

The Summit is an outgrowth of the Atlanta MBDA Business Center’s Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Program (CAMP), which is now the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center, Ennis said. “The vision behind CAMP and what led to us creating the Summit is to connect MBE manufacturers in the ecosystem to business opportunities, research, innovation, funding, and critical information they need to grow and thrive as businesses,” she said.

 

To register for the Summit and for more information, please visit mbemanufacturersummit.com.

 

About the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center:

Focused on building a national ecosystem of minority business enterprise (MBE) manufacturers, partners, and stakeholders, the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center creates expansion opportunities for MBE manufacturers by facilitating their growth through innovation and technology, training and education, as well as advocating inclusiveness with corporate suppliers.

 

About the Atlanta MBDA Business Center:

As part of a national network of 42 centers, the Atlanta MBDA Business Center helps minority business enterprises access capital, increase profitability, create jobs, and become sustainable. It is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. For more information, please visit mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org.

U.S. Commerce Department awards 5-year grant to MBDA Business Center-Atlanta

Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson, left, and Donna Ennis, director of the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Atlanta.

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, left, and Donna Ennis, director of the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center-Atlanta.

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) named Georgia Tech Research Corp. as a grant recipient to continue to operate an MBDA Business Center in Atlanta.

The federal funding will be distributed during a five-year period that ends in 2021. The funding amount per year is $298,255 for a total of $1.49 million.

The grant program is designed to help minority-owned firms across the nation create jobs, develop their business, and compete in the global economy.

“We are extremely pleased and honored the U.S. Department of Commerce has renewed our funding for another five-year term,” said Donna Ennis, director of the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta. “Our team has been busy working with businesses across Georgia and the Southeast helping to build not only the strength of minority-owned businesses, but the state’s and region’s economy as a whole.”

A key component of MBDA’s Business Center Network is providing minority firms with access to technical expertise and resources to grow their businesses.

In the five-year period ending in 2015, MBDA Business Center-Atlanta helped 462 minority-owned businesses:

  • secure more than $577 million in contracts and procurement
  • access $177 million in capital
  • create or save 4,987 jobs

Ennis leads the MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Working Group, which is building a nationwide community of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) manufacturers through its national network of 44 MBDA Business Centers. As part of that initiative, she launched the Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Program (CAMP) focused on providing contracting opportunities; assistance with launching new technologies, and building a nationwide ecosystem of MBE manufacturers. That led to the National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2016 at Georgia Tech this past March 24.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms in the United States increased to 8 million in 2012 from 5.8 million in 2007. Those 8 million businesses employed 7.2 million Americans.

In Georgia, there are 371,588 minority-owned firms that contribute more than $38.4 billion annually in economic output. These firms employ more than 202,000 Georgians.

Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.

About the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta

Established in 2004 and part of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the MBDA Business Center-Atlanta is a member of the national network of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency. The MBDA Business Center-Atlanta provides business and technical assistance to help emerging and existing minority business enterprises achieve significant growth and sustainability and create long-term economic impact through increased jobs and revenue.

Ennis One of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence

Donna Ennis, project director of the MBDA Business Center, Atlanta, Georgia (MBC), was named one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.

Donna Ennis, project director of the MBDA Business Center, Atlanta, Georgia (MBC), has been named one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and operated by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, MBC helps emerging and existing minority businesses experience significant growth and sustainability and generate long-term economic impact through the creation of jobs and revenue.

Since 1994, the Atlanta Business League has published its annual list of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.” The list include black women in the metro Atlanta community who have reached senior level positions within their professions, are leading entrepreneurs in their industries or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically. In addition to professional accomplishments, the “100 Black Women of Influence” have demonstrated their commitment to the citizenry of Metro Atlanta by maintaining significant involvement and participation in community and civic activities.

“Donna Ennis was selected as one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence because of her commitment and dedication to growing minority businesses,” said Leona Barr-Davenport, Atlanta Business League president and CEO. “Very simply put, she cares and is results oriented. Her work speaks for itself!”

Ennis is responsible for the strategic direction, marketing and outreach, and operations of the GMBEC and assists clients with strategic, business and market planning; marketing research and communications; public and private procurement, finance and operations; and business process improvement. She has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, public relations and business development, with emphasis on identifying company needs and matching them to the appropriate resources.

“The Georgia Minority Business Enterprise Center plays a vital role in facilitating the growth of both emerging and established minority businesses in Georgia,” noted Stephen Fleming, vice provost in the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute. “Donna Ennis has been the driving force behind the Center’s success, and I am pleased to see her hard work and dedication recognized in this way.”

Ennis is also a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Resource Capital and the National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud and on the board of trustees of Atlanta Unity Church. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University.

For more information on GMBEC services offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, contact Donna Ennis (404-894-2096); E-mail: (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@sinne.annod); Web site: (www.georgiambc.org).

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
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Georgia Institute of Technology
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Media Relations Contact:  John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright