Resources for Asian American Businesses
By John Suarez
Asian American business owners can take advantage of a number of resources to help propel their small business enterprises, in both the public and private sectors.
An obvious starting point is to consider the resources available through the US government, notably the US Small Business Administration and the US Minority Business Development Agency. These two agencies were created to serve small and minority-owned firms, and Asian American businesses fall within these categories. The help that is available from these agencies runs the gamut from financing and access to capital, to business planning, networking, and mentoring.
Searching “Asian” in the search engines of these websites will relay a plethora of specific information and resources targeted to the Asian American business demographic, including services, data, business summits, and opportunities.
Outside of government, the United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) is the preeminent organization serving Asian American businesses. The USPAACC’s mission is to serve as a gateway organization, connecting Asian American firms and related groups to corporate and government contracts, minority business suppliers, and information about Asian Americans and the Asia market.
The USPAACC, which is based in Washington, DC, represents a diverse group of Asian Americans, including those who trace their heritage to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mongolia.
One of the USPAACC’s major annual events is CelebrAsian, the nation’s largest procurement conference for Asian American businesses to connect Fortune-level corporations and governments with Asian American and minority businesses to pursue contracting relationships.
CelebrAsian 2019 will be held June 5 to 7 in Houston, Texas.
A number of other organizations offer resources targeted directly to Asian American firms. These include:
Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC)
This organization was established in New York City in 1994 to promote greater recognition of Asian American businesses’ contributions to the general economy. AABDC’s mission is to assist Asian-owned businesses to compete in the mainstream marketplace by offering technical assistance, support, and programs to improve the management skills of Asian American business owners. It also encourages Asian American businesses to be more actively involved in issues and policies that directly affect them at the federal, state, and city levels.
Asia America MultiTechnology Association (formerly the Asian American Manufacturers Association) (AAMA)
This nonprofit organization was founded in 1979 to promote manufacturing and related business enterprise throughout the Pacific Rim. The AAMA, located in Palo Alto, California, has more than 10,000 members from some 2,000 companies, particularly in industries such as wireless, telecommunications, semiconductor, software, hardware, electronics, and biotech.
Asian Professional Exchange (APEX)
This Los Angeles–based organization presents a grassroots opportunity for Asian American business owners and professionals. The group regularly hosts events and seminars to assist Asian American professionals through a network of resources and mentors.
Asian Women in Business (AWIB)
This New York City membership-based organization was founded in 1995 to assist Asian American women entrepreneurs. Through targeted programs and events, the AWIB seeks to identify and address the needs and issues affecting the business and professional development of Asian American women. The organization also serves as an advocate for Asian American women business owners.
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
The New York-based NMSDC, while not an Asian-based organization like others included on this list, serves Asian-owned businesses along with other diverse firms as a leading certification body. In addition, the more than 12,000 certified businesses NMSDC works with has access to its network of affiliate chapters around the country as well as its corporate partners seeking to purchase products and services from diverse businesses, including Asian-owned firms.
Does your organization help Asian American business owners? If so, please contact email@example.com; we’d be happy to include you on our list!
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