Southern University Law Center awarded federal grant to establish minority business center

The Southern University Law Center, part of the Southern University System, received federal funding to establish a Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency as part of its MBDA Business Center Program. The program is designed to help minority-owned firms create jobs, compete in the global economy and grow their businesses.

“As the only historically black college and university that operates an MBDA Business Center, we are closely aligned with the communities the MBDA intends to serve, and we understand both their challenges and their needs,” said Charletta Fortson, program director of the Louisiana MBDA Business Center. “We know that many of our minority-owned businesses were affected by COVID-19 which made our efforts to establish a business center for Louisiana businesses a priority.”

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 9.2 million minority-owned firms in the U.S. employ over 8 million American workers and pump $1.7 trillion dollars into the American economy, with minority women-owned businesses now the fastest rising group within the spectrum of entrepreneurial effort.

The goal of the Louisiana MBDA Business Center is to help grow minority-owned businesses in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. by creating opportunities for them to have access to capital and contracts with public and private entities. Through a network of partners, the MBDA Business Center will be able to help minority-owned businesses increase their sales, have access to matching opportunities for public and private contracts, and build capacity by developing their management, financial, and technological capabilities.

"With the Law Center operating the Louisiana MBDA Business Center, not only will we support these businesses with technical training and business development, but we'll be able to tap into our student, faculty, and alumni network to provide certain legal services as these businesses grow,” Fortson said.

In November, the Business Center will host its open house to showcase its organization to clients and the community.

For more information, visit or contact Jasmine D. Hunter at

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