Washington, D.C. | August 9th, 2023 – Today Forbes published an article profiling ADC’s recently announced Minority Business Certification Program, emphasizing both the overwhelmingly positive response and the specific gap in economic support it is filling.
The full article can be read HERE and is included below.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has recently launched a certification program for business owners from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Much like other MBE Certifications, the goal is to amplify and MENA-American businesses by certifying that a business is over 51% MENA owned and managed.
The Minority Business Development Agency, which is housed in the U.S. Small Business Association, was launched in 1969 under the Nixon administration. In 1972 the nonprofit National Minority Supplier Development Council was launched. According to their website, their impact includes “over 15,000 MBEs connected to more than 1,700 corporations, resulting in $482.1 billion in economic output annually, sustaining 1.8 million jobs, with $136.4 billion total wages earned.” Within the group, a minority member is defined as, “an individual who is at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, or Hispanic.” The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) was founded in 1997, and extends this definition to women-owned businesses.
The ADC’s MENA Certification program aims to expand this definition to Arab-American and non-Arab MENA American businesses. The ADC was launched in 1980 by the late former US Senator James Abourzek of South Dakota. With a mission around human rights and civil liberties, business development is a core part of their strategy, and it became more apparent after 9-11. ADC Executive Director Abed Ayoub explains, “We noticed the economic impact [of 9-11] and the challenges that a lot of our business owners were facing, not just within the Arab community, but within the Middle Eastern community, the Muslim community or anybody with a foreign name. And we began seeing a lot of cases of businesses being shut down because of discrimination.”
According to Ayoub, the goal of the program is, “the economic empowerment of our community. It’s to show that our community is a force in the economic field, to organize our economic voice, and to give our entrepreneurs opportunities to grow. I think the certification will do that.”
Click HERE if you are a business owner who would like to be certified as minority owned!