The Houston MBDA Business Center


The Houston Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center is operated by Houston Community College and is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Minority Business Development Agency and has been hosted at Houston Community College since September 2013.

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Our Mission:

To foster the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. businesses that are minority-owned by facilitating transactions through referrals, business consulting, and matching Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to contract opportunities, and capital resources.

The Houston MBDA Business Center is part of a national network of centers established to assist existing minority-owned businesses. Our services are designed to improve your access to capital, procurement opportunities, and domestic and international markets, make your business more profitable, create jobs, and make your company sustainable.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and operated by Houston Community College, the Center is committed to working with qualified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) needing assistance in expansion, and sustainability. Our staff has years of business and financial experience to help meet your needs and offer a wealth of resources that fully address all of your business requirements.

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Houston MBDA Staff Biographies

Gabriela Zambrano, Director

Gabriela Zambrano, Director, was a Business Development Officer for the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity. Previously, she worked as a supervisor for a local insurance and income tax company. She is a graduate of the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She previously earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural and Organizational Communication from Florida Atlantic University. A native of New Jersey, she is the daughter of Ecuadorian parents and speaks fluent Spanish.


Mark Praigg, Business Advisor

Mark Praigg, Business Advisor, was a Business Consultant with the Houston Area Urban League and a Small Business Advisor with the Houston Galveston Women’s Business Center. Previously, he was a Business Consultant with the Houston Minority Business Enterprise Center. A native of California, he is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts Studies.


Deidra Sutton, Business Advisor

Deidra Sutton, Business Advisor was most recently the Vice President—Government Division of AMSYS Innovative Solutions, a nationwide IT service provider based in Houston. Previously she had been a Senior Business Advisor with the University of Houston Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Prior to that, she was a Business Consultant with the Houston Minority Business Development Center (MBDA). A native of Louisiana, she has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Xavier University in New Orleans.


A New Strategic Direction:

MBEs today are growing faster than the general business community. However, they may be challenged in terms of penetrating markets, attracting capital, and growing revenue. MBDA has re-engineered the Business Centers across the country to focus on growing existing minority-owned firms. Our efforts are targeted at providing assistance to:

  • Rapid-growth potential firms
  • High-impact firms

Revenue and jobs generate wealth in this country. It is MBDA’s goal, through its Business Centers, to help MBEs create jobs and revenue. This new direction will redirect resources strategically so that all firms are served in a way that will ultimately help us achieve our goal.

Procurement Assistance, Access to Markets

  • Contract procurement assistance with public and private sector entities

  • Facilitate joint ventures to build capacity and increase revenue


  • Access to hard-to-reach contract opportunities using MBDA proprietary resources


  • Ability to leverage opportunities in other Texas and United States markets through the more than 40 MBDA business centers located throughout the country


 Access to Capital

  • Loans and lines of credit
  • Bonding and insurance
  • Asset-based lending (e.g., factoring)
  • Equity investments


One-on-One Business Consulting

  • Strategic growth strategies
  • Marketing and branding
  • Business development


Other Strategic Services

  • Invitations to trainings, seminars, and events
  • Facilitation of minority certification referral to service providers


Minority-owned businesses that have been in business three or more years and with $1 million or more in annual revenue are the target clients for our services.  High-growth industries such as green technology, clean energy, health care, infrastructure and broadband technology also are eligible for the MBDA program

Clients include:

  • African Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Asian and Pacific Islander Americans
  • Native Americans (including Alaska Natives, Alaska Native Corporations and Tribal entities)
  • Asian Indian Americans
  • Hasidic Jewish Americans

Houston MBDA Business Center

Suite 165 2302 Fannin Street , Houston, TX 77002

Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri from 8am to 5pm

¡Hablamos Español!