MEC and Arlington SBDC Host Multicultural Business Conference

Posted: August 4, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Amy Biderman

“Access to Success” is the theme of the Second Annual Multicultural Business Conference, Thursday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center at the Fairfax Campus. The event is sponsored by the Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) and the Arlington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in partnership with the Business Development Assistance Group.

“As one of the most diverse universities in the country, we at George Mason appreciate the importance of maximizing the benefits of our diversity,” says President Alan Merten. “This conference promises to provide multiple communities in our region with the understanding and access that small and large businesses need to succeed.”

The conference will provide practical information and resources to help small and ethnic minority entrepreneurs start a business or plan for expansion. Participants will have opportunities to network, share information, and access resources that are critical to their success in the mainstream economy.

Keynote speakers include Michael Schewel, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade; Chapman Petersen, Virginia state delegate; Roger Stough, director of the MEC; and Merten. Workshops will cover federal contracting opportunities, capital for business startup, resources for small business, import and export, Virginia state and local procurement, and certification for small minority enterprise.

“Our focus is on creating opportunities for developing and growing successful businesses,” says Stough. “The Arlington SBDC, part of the Mason Enterprise Center, has an ongoing commitment to provide access to tools, resources, and business opportunities so small and minority businesses can participate in the economic growth of the region.”

Other conference organizers include the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Business Planning and Development.

The registration fee for the conference is $45 by Aug. 11 or $55 at the door. For additional information visit the Arlington SBDC’s web site or contact Nalin Jain at 703-993-8132 or

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