The Diversity Business Resource Center(DBRC)
The Diversity Business Resource Center(DBRC) is a joint venture between Riverside Center for Innovation and the MWDBE Governmental Committee to assist and foster small existing and start-up minority and women-owned businesses in acquiring key information necessary in building a sustainable firm.
The MWDBE Governmental Committee comprises of representatives from the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Allegheny County Housing Authority, Allegheny County Dept. of MWDBE, Allegheny County Dept. of Public Works, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, City of Pittsburgh Equal Opportunity Review Commission, Community College of Allegheny County, Government Agency Coordination Office, Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh, PA Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 3 Rivers Wet Weather, University of Pittsburgh, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
The DBRC will have the capability to direct MBWDE business person(s) to the various resources and address their specific needs. The DBRC will coordinate and provide:
- One-on-One Consulting and Counseling - these services will provide guidance, coaching and direction to resolve critical issues of strategy, policy and technique.
- Hands-on Assistance - in addition to counseling, services may include hands-on assistance that provides direct action over a period of time. A customized service environment will be established to create goals and provide the implementation support to achieve the objectives for each client.
- Development Training Programs - there will be a series of educational classes that address Application and Review Sessions for MBE/WBE Certification, Contracting Opportunities with the Governmental Committee Agencies, Small Business Tax Issues, QuickBooks Trainings, Analysis of Financial Statements, Steps in Writing a Winning Business Plan, Construction Planning Workshops, Insurance Bonding, Proper Contract Bidding Workshops, E-Commerce workshops and many more.
- Supplier Diversity - establish a network for growth firms seeking new and expanded relationships with corporate, government and institutional buyers leading to significant increases in sales and the capability to service major accounts.
- Micro-enterprise Training Program - a 10 week program to assist MWDBE individuals who are interested in starting a new businesses with basic skills, knowledge and a clear vision of the requirements for business success. The program includes a start-up business plan and assistance in raising needed capital. Further, the program equips existing businesses with resources and skills to change directions and improve their capital position.
As RCI'S partner, the Governmental Committee has demonstrated its commitment to empowering minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprise with its current programming and will continue to substantially support their success and profitability in the Pittsburgh Region. Representatives of the membership organizations implemented the following since 1999: (1) the Small Business Association (SBA) conducts tutorial workshops on the federal government 8(a) application providing MWDBES to adequately compete for in the federal procurement market; (2) the Government Contracting Assistance Center (GCAC) presents seminars throughout the year and hosts its annual trade fair to connect MWDBES to contracting opportunities at all levels of government; (3) the Pennsylvania Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities conduct monthly seminars on contracting and certification with the Commonwealth, provides assistance in completing the State certification application and also hosts networking events for MWDBES; (4) Pittsburgh Public Schools provides monthly workshops as well to encourage participation in their business opportunity program; and (5) the Governmental Committee as a collective serves as a critical gateway to all the aforementioned activities through its website, monthly presentations by local MWDBES, annual trade fair and regularly providing information on current contracting opportunities.