MBDA Manhattan Business Center

The New York MBDA Business Center promotes minority-owned businesses' access to contracts, financing, and strategic growth opportunities.

The  Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Manhattan Business Center, operated by BOC Network, is one of 36 MBDA business centers located across the country that provide technical assistance and strategic business consulting for growing Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Our mission is to help clients achieve higher levels of growth and competitiveness both domestically and internationally.

All United States minority-owned businesses are eligible for MBDA Business Center assistance. MBDA provides:

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1) Access to Capital – Identifying financing and bonding opportunities and connecting businesses with alternative lenders for the financing of purchase orders for rapid scalability. This also includes matchmaking with banking institutions or mezzanine financing options.

2) Access to Contracts – Identifying procurement opportunities, solicitation analysis, regulations assistance, and bidding and proposal preparation.

3) Access to New Markets – (Domestic and International) Export financing assistance, trade leads through the U.S. Department of Commerce and World Trade Organization, and market research support.

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MBDA Manhattan Center Directors

Roxanne Neilson

Roxanne Neilson has been the MBDA Manhattan Business Center Director since 2018. She began her career in construction over 25 years ago as a member of Union Local 745 Hawaii working through apprenticeship as a formwork carpenter-welder in heavy construction. Her most notable project assignments have included Brooklyn Academy of the Arts Opera House Restoration and the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels (a pair of highway tunnels passing through the Ko‘olau Range on the island of O‘ahu). Ms. Neilson most recently served as the DBE Administrator for the $3.14 B NYS Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement Project. She has a significant level of national MWBE program management experience on both sides of the table, and as a business owner. Ms.Neilson is a licensed NYS Real Estate Broker, and is the CTO of Self Storage & ETC., a family-owned mini storage company located in Connecticut. Her areas of expertise range from public procurement to theater/radio/TV production facilities development. Ms. Neilson has attended Swarthmore College, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, UC Berkeley, and NYU. Quote: Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm said “If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring in a folding chair”

Dr. Cheng Zhu

Dr. Cheng Zhu has been with BOC since 2017 and is currently the MBDA Co-Director and Strategic Management Advisor. An expert in executive leadership development and disruptive innovation, Dr. Zhu provides strategic management consulting and leadership coaching to help minority-owned businesses lead organizational change, implement innovative strategy, and accelerate business growth. A graduate from Harvard University, her previous professional appointments include: Research Associate at the Harvard Business School, Faculty at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Senior Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership. Quote: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” -- Mark Twain

Change Your Mindset: Opening your thoughts to new perspectives can unleash creativity and result in growth for your business even in these uncertain times.

Dr. Cheng Zhu , MBDA Co-Director and Strategic Management Advisor

Dr. Cheng Zhu , MBDA Co-Director and Strategic Management Advisor

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