Governor Cuomo Announces Third Annual MWBE Forum to Fast Track Business and Growth Opportunities

Largest Statewide Business Event for Minority- and Women-owned Businesses Designed to Provide Government Contracting and Networking Opportunities.

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Albany, NY - September 9, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded small business owners looking to create new jobs and growth opportunities that the early registration deadline for New York State’s third annual MWBE Forum is fast approaching on September 15. The forum will be held on October 3-4 at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany, and is the largest statewide business event for minority and women owned businesses.

The forum provides emerging businesses with the opportunity to learn about the New York State procurement process, attend information sessions, and connect with decision makers from both the public and private sectors to grow their business and increase competitiveness.

“One of New York’s greatest strengths is the diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of our state’s small business owners,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are organizing forums like this to capitalize on that strength by bringing together leaders in the public and private sectors to share their experience, knowledge, and connections with minority- and women-owned businesses. I encourage all interested businesses and individuals to attend the third annual MWBE forum to learn how they can increase their competitiveness and pursue further opportunities for growth.”

To register for the forum, go to

Building on Past Success
Participants of the 2013 Forum will gain invaluable information about identifying the best work that matches a company’s capabilities, the right contractors to work with, reducing risk to position a firm for growth, and teaming/joint ventures opportunities. In addition, a Specialty EXPO Track will provide information about new technologies and product innovations in growing markets such as infrastructure, high-speed rail, public-private partnerships and more. New networking opportunities will also allow businesses to meet New York State’s leading decision makers to match company expertise with the right projects, and open doors wider for increased contract opportunities across 50 agencies and authorities.

In 2012, the statewide MWBE forum attracted over 1,700 attendees and showcased $1 billion in state contracting opportunities. The MWBE Forum brought together MWBE firms, prime contractors, elected officials and members of the Governor’s cabinet to discuss state contracting opportunities. The goal of the forum was to make the process of doing business with the state easier and to provide firms with a one-stop event on contract opportunities. (Click here for photos and other multimedia from last year’s event.)

“Since Governor Cuomo took office, the MWBE team has made tremendous strides in identifying barriers and enhancing greater participation for minority and women owned businesses, in large part through increased outreach efforts, like the annual MWBE forum,” said Alphonso David, Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights. “In just about a month, we will kick off the 2013 MWBE Forum, which is expected to draw hundreds of participants from the public and private sectors. We encourage all small businesses to register early and attend this year’s exciting two day forum—with dozens of workshops and seminars to learn more about New York’s new projects and opportunities to meet and connect with more than 50 government agencies, there’s no better way to boost your business.”

State officials are continuing to facilitate economic growth by developing a consistent and comprehensive network of opportunities for MWBE’s to exchange information, ideas and resources for business support. Tools provided by Empire State Development’s Division of Minority and Women's Business Development include:

  • Information on how to sell to New York State;
  • Information on current New York State contracting opportunities;
  • Tools for launching and expanding a business; and
  • Information on business training, technical support, access to capital programs.

Since 2011, the Division has participated in nearly 500 workshops, lectures, fairs and other outreach initiatives specifically aimed at helping these businesses succeed. Through this outreach network, the Division is building an institutionalized infrastructure for MWBEs to use as a proven resource for growing their businesses and identifying contract opportunities that match their respective core competencies and capacities.