Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

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Change. It has been a year full of changes here for MBE magazine.

New look. Check. New programming. Check. New social media channels and media offerings. Check and check. Now, we have one more for the new year. Format.

In January 2016, MBE magazine will become a quarterly magazine that will pack more quality content and a wider distribution per issue than previously seen. Consequently, in preparation for this move, our September/October 2015 Anniversary Issue will be the last issue for 2015.

This is a decision that has been a long time coming but with all the hoopla over the new cover design, the 30th Anniversary celebration, and the WBEs Who Rock! Awards (the MBEs Who Rock! are coming soon), we thought it best to hold off on this change until the dust settled. Of course, the dust is still settling but we must move on. So here we are.

So, why this change? It is no secret that print is becoming more and more expensive. Postage continues to rise at an alarming rate. Ink, which is a bi-product of oil, continues to climb. Paper, well, don’t get me started. Rising freight prices has negatively impacted how we deliver to the events and conferences where our advertising and editorial supporters expect to be seen.

However, change is good. Each issue will be larger as we anticipate a wider, deeper distribution which will in turn draw more advertising support and result in our being able to present additional quality content. We will also be adding features to our online and social media offerings that will enhance the magazine experience. So, basically, quality over quantity, or (perhaps more accurately) quality and some quantity over frequency.

Of course, there will be some consequences. Our advertising rates will increase. [A little known fact: Our advertising rates have not increased in almost 10 years!] And, our subscription rates will also increase. These will be more in line with the industry standards, although we understand tightening budgets and will work to provide added value for your additional spend. The new rates will take effect January 1, 2016. Advertisers and subscribers may take advantage of the old rates by ordering prior to December 15, 2015.

The details? Well, as they say, the devil is in it. As the months unfold, we will be keeping you updated via our social media outlets and monthly eNewsletter. If you are not already a subscriber to our eNewsletter and would like to be added to our list, I invite you to send your request to

In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who celebrated our 30th Anniversary with us all year. From the sponsors, without whom it would not have been possible, to our MWBE vendors, readers, and our incredible staff, THANK YOU!


MBEs Rock!
For over 30 years, we’ve been touting this to the world and every so often it echoes back. I say echoes because we only seem to hear it loud and clear from our own small corner of the business world. And yet, it is true for just about every corner of the world—business or otherwise.

This issue features some pretty awe-inspiring guys who are among the best of us. They are unsung heroes. They don’t shout from the rooftop about their greatness but they should. They are not looking for just the next dollar; they want to make a difference. That takes more than the next dollar. It takes vision, commitment, ingenuity, setbacks, faith, and a LOT of work (sometimes more of one than the other).

We all have struggles. It can be deep and abiding. But, for those of us with little to no resources, it can be near impossible to overcome. Poverty did not stop Robert Wallace, it inspired him. How many of us can say we were inspired to become who we are, the fighters that we are?

I come from a country of fighters. In Jamaica, we like to say, “Wi likkl but witalawah!” (Translation: We are small but we are strong.) How do you explain a country, roughly a quarter the size of California, becoming the powerhouse of the track and field world? Some of us are descendants of the great Maroons who fought the British and won their sovereignty, and all are recipients of that bounty.

Minority businesses are growing by leaps and bounds according to preliminary statistics from the 2012 U.S. Census due out (finally) this December. Unfortunately, while there appears to be many resources, it is not enough to keep up with the growing demand of the disenfranchised. Many non-profit organizations, the primary source of help, have seen significant decline in monetary support since the Great Recession. Universities and colleges have taken up the call to offer entrepreneurial education but they only have so much space with which to work.

This is why we need those with deep pockets to give a hand up by investing more in the education of communities of color. I don’t advocate that the access must always be free. After all, we all must put skin in the game if we want to play. Instead, let’s look to build better-funded resources that don’t take away from our bottom lines each time we reach out for that hand up. This way we have a chance to grow and thrive and contribute to the greater good.

We may be “talawah”, but for us to beat the odds, everyone will need to go all in.


P.S. We will be Rockin’ the Red Carpet with a few more of our MBEs Who Rock! awardees at the NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in San Diego on Monday, October 19. We hope you will stop by Booth 2413 to say hello.

Printing Money By Tanya Isley
Gary Stiffler has grown his company to be the largest minority-owned printing firm in the U.S. by investing in technology and people.

State of the State
A look at the state of diversity in the Greater New England region.

Global Connections: Certification Growth
By Susan Baka
Chinese in vanguard of entrepreneurship in Canada.

Global ConnectionsBy Elizabeth A. Vazquez
Growing women-owned businesses in India and beyond.

Corporate Strategies: Southern California Gas Company By Anne Silva
Breaking records.

Different Drummers: Parle Innovation By David Garcia
Building success from the ground up.

Real Talk By Max Rutherford and Ayeshia Toy
Advocacy: Revolutionizing the Advertising Industry.

Advertorial: Johnson & Johnson
Today’s leadership equals self-empowerment.

Serious about Sustainability By Barbara Wichmann
20 years in the business: Celebrating sustainably!

Diversity & Inclusion: Back to the Future By Dorien Nunez
Untapped markets and business opportunities in STEM fields.

OpEd: Paygevity By Susan Phillips Bari
Disrupting outdated payment protocols.

OpEd: Ruiz Strategies By Michele Ruiz
It’s a real-time world.

Workforce Diversity: Harnessing the Power of Decision-Making By Noreen King
The working mom’s guide to leading the life you want.

Corporate Strategies: CVS Health/Light Speed By Tanya Isley
Readying suppliers faster.

Eye on Washington: Small Business Outlook 2015 By Cameron Asgarian

Different Drummers: 30th Anniversary Supplier Spotlight By Charmain Lewis
Louise Parker of Blade Inc.

Publisher's Page

One Wild Ride By Tanya Isley
Sandra James navigated the rough waters of economic upheaval to reach safe harbor.

Schooled in Diversity By Patricia Andrews Keenan
Diversity Symposium serves as a template for other institutions' diversity efforts.

Enhanced Performance By Tanya Isley
APU helps former NFL player finds his niche in entrepreneurship.

Serious About Sustainability By Barbara Wichmann
Sustainability, diversity, and suppliers: Closing the Gaps.

MBE Magazine's 30th Anniversary Experience

Corporate Strategies: Aflac By Wassel Lewis
Insuring diversity.

Corporate Plus Strategies: Urban Risk Solutions By Tanya Isley
ACA as a strategic advantage.

Global Connections: Seizing the 21st Century By Dr John Akhile, Sr.
African countries must switch from consumers to producers.

Op-Ed: FundWell By Chinwe Oyeagoro
Matching lenders and entrepreneurs.

Stepping into the Limelight By Tanya Isley
Dynamic entrepreneur and gifted speaker,Clifford A. Bailey steps onto the national stage.

State of the State
A look at the state of diversity in Ohio.

Global Connections: WEConnect International
in Latin America
By Liz Cullen Whitehead
WeConnect promoting economic growth among women-owned businesses in Latin America.

Global Connections: Partnering for Growth By John Akhile, Sr.
Bridging the chasm between African-America and Africa.

Partnering With PrimesBy Judy Bradt
Getting beyond the Meet and Greet.

Diversity & Inclusion: Pipelines and Pathways By Mike Green
The call for an inclusive STEAM-powered innovation economy drives opportunities for underrepresented communities.

Different Drummers: 30th Anniversary Supplier Spotlight By Carolyn Muse-Grant
Sterling Henton of Rev It Up, LLC and Patrick Smith of Smith Entertainment.

Real Talk By Akia Garnett
Today’s leadership equals self-empowerment.

Serious About Sustainability By Barbara Wichmann
Top sustainability trends for 2015.

Workforce Diversity: Striking the Right Note By Noreen King
Creating a harmonious cross-cultural workforce.


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MBE Resource Center

MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.


MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.


Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.


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