MBDA National Director Castillo Accepts National Urban League Women of Power Award

Thank you National Urban League, Marc
Morial, and the stellar team, so I’m going to borrow from Marc and say as he said before the dream team does
the dream work. So this is about a recognition not for myself, but for a team let me tell you something, I am part of
an amazing team. And that team’s leader is our President, Barack Obama. If it weren’t for our President, who has that vision who believes in the importance of
minority-owned firms it would be very hard to do my job and
then those who execute his vision as you heard from Valerie Jarrett and our
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. But I also have to say it’s the team that
supports you so the MBDA team, individuals who are in
the government space, who fight for minority-owned firms, from a policy
perspective, from a programmatic perspective, and yes from a budget
perspective, but really at the end of the day… as it was said in our convocation I’m loaned for season, in this job and
that season has been wonderful because I get to represent and to advocate and to be a champion for the 8 million minority-owned firms and did you know that between 2007 and 2012 minority-owned firms grew by 39-percent African American-owned businesses the
fastest-growing – that’s a beautiful story but that story also have another part we
have to make sure that our businesses are growing in size and scale and oh by
the way that they are diversifying because there’s a technological tsunami
coming our way and we need to make sure that we are in the STEM entrepreneurship
that we are part of that technological and innovation driven economy so I have
to really say that I am humbled because I am the daughter of bodegero that’s Spanish for grocery store who had
the fortitude to open a store in the Bronx in the 1970s when no one else
thought about that community and I’m sure you’ve seen communities that need
services and products minority-owned firms see the possibilities when no one
else can see it but guess what we need our banks, our financial institutions to
lend us capital, to lend us the capital to grow our businesses. We need access to contracts both in the public sector and the private sector and we also need
access to markets but we need to be part of this technological revolution and
that’s going to take all of us because we create the jobs, we bring in that
vitality into our communities that perhaps nobody else wants to
do. So I have to congratulate the business owners that are in this room the ones that service you and I need
champions. You have to be discerning consumers ask the tough question how many minority-owned companies are your supply chain how many minority-owned companies are
you really investing in. I need champions because this great
nation and yes it is a great nation the future of this great nation is going
to rely on the growth in size and scale and diversification of minority-owned
firms. So with that thank you so much for this
recognition I know that I stand between you and the next events but I’m very
honored to be here Thank you again.

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