Minority Business Development Agency: Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Programs


The Genesis of the Problem

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are intertwined concepts that seek to address some of the most common socio-economic challenges in the United States such as racism, inequality, and discrimination. There has been a consensus that the system in the US is skewed against minorities, especially people of color (Cooney, 2021). For a long time, African Americans were slaves in the country. When slavery was finally abolished, former slaves were promised freedom to ensure that they could define their socio-economic and political lives, just like their former slave masters. Although the former slaves gained freedom from slavery, it has been a challenge for them to achieve economic freedom. Porter (2019) explains that the rich, most of whom are whites, have used the resources at their disposal to ensure that they secure their position in the country as the elites in the society. As the poor continue to get poorer, the rich are continuing to accumulate more wealth.

The capitalistic system of governance, which is championed by the United States, rewards hardworking individuals. The problem is that the society gets disenfranchised when a few have wealth that they do not need while a section of the society can hardly access basic needs (Vemic, 2020). It creates resentment and directly affects national security. The government of the United States has been keen on developing systems and programs meant to help create some form of balance. While the society’s elites are not stopped from amassing more wealth, a system is needed to ensure that basic needs are accessible to all. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is one such agency that the government has created to help in addressing the problem.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) was founded to help in the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. According to Cawe and Mabasa (2020), it was established through Executive Orders 11458 and 11625 to specifically address economic concerns and challenges that minorities in the United States face. It primarily targets African Americans, Latino and Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Hasidic Jews among other perceived minority groups in the country (Ryan, 2019). Its goal is to assist entrepreneurs in the above groups to achieve success in a highly challenging business environment in the country. The agency has had a positive impact on minority entrepreneurs, especially in the black community. President Joe Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, 2021, as a permanent agency (Kaplan & McGourty, 2020). The new law meant that it was elevated to a statutory agency under Congress instead of the executive branch of the government. In this paper, the researcher seeks to investigate how effective MBDA has been in implementing DEI practices and the agency’s future impact since statutory authorization in 2021.

Statement of the Problem

The economic and political system of capitalism has emerged as the most practical one in modern society. The United States has been keenly promoting this system around the country to fight communism championed by the East (Telem & Martin, 2021). Despite its desirable principles, it creates a system where some members of society can amass more wealth than they can ever consume while another section struggles to meet basic needs. Those who control factors of production can use their power to ensure that they enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. Recent studies have shown that the richest few are continuing to increase their wealth while the number of those who live within or below the poverty line is on the rise (Griffen, 2021). The scholar further argues that if left unchecked, the trend can result in a crisis as some of the poorest members of society may be forced into crime as the only way of meeting their basic needs.

The Minority Business Development Agency was established specifically to help support minority entrepreneurs to achieve success in the country. Its statutory authorization in 2021 meant that it was a permanent entity that no longer had to rely on an executive order to survive. It was an indication that the government has acknowledged its role and significance in empowering the less fortunate members of society and the minorities. It is expected that upon its elevation, MBDA will be capable to offer greater assistance to the target group to bridge the otherwise widening gap between the poor and the rich in the country (Hughes, 2021). It should have a better capacity to implement DEI practices, hence address the systemic problem of racism and discrimination that affects a section of the society.

Research Questions

The elevation of MBDA to a statutory agency under Congress is expected to strengthen its ability to meet its obligations. It is expected that under the new system, it will no longer have to rely on the policies of the current administration to get the necessary funding and support. The researcher will need to collect data from both primary and secondary sources to achieve the aim of the study, discussed above. The following are the specific questions that the researcher seeks to answer in this project.

  1. How has the MBDA performed since becoming a statutory agency under Congress?
  2. What is the impact of MBDA now being regulated by Congress instead of the executive branch of office?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to evaluate how effective MBDA has been in implementing DEI practices and the agency’s future impact since statutory authorization in 2021. Before this elevation, the agency had to rely on the goodwill of the existing administration to have the funds needed for its operations (Thompson, 2021). However, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enabled it to gain independence from the executive, which also meant that it will be receiving a stable budget irrespective of the holder of the office of the president in the country. The agency no longer needs to align its policies with that of the existing administration to get proper funding. It only needs to focus on its core mandate and ensure that DEI programs are effectively implemented.

The statutory authorization took place about a few months ago, which means that its impact is yet to be effectively reviewed by the existing literature. This academic research is one of the initial studies that specifically assess how effective MBDA has become following the elevation. The study is interested in determining if the move has empowered the agency, which was the goal of the bill that was passed and signed into law. The investigation will look at some of the specific provisions of the law that make this agency superior and more effective in serving the interest of the focus group. At this moment, employees of the firm are in a good position to explain the changes experienced and how these changes have influenced the ability of the entity to deliver on its mandate. Some of the indicators of improvement of this agency include funding allocations and the number of staff, which directly influence its capacity to serve a greater population of the targeted group.

Significance of the Study

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was meant to empower MBDA and reduce its reliance on the budget assigned to it by the executive branch of the government. This study is important because it specifically looks at the benefits of this new law. It seeks to determine if this agency will be able to execute its mandate in a better way, especially the DEI programs. The current administration made the decision to empower the agency, and it will a feedback about the impact of the decision. This report provides that feedback by identifying how MBDA has performed since the enactment of the law, the new powers that it has, challenges that it has overcome through the new law, and its sustainability. Policy-makers will understand the benefit of empowering similar institutions to enable them achieve their mandate.

Logic Model

The following model defines the current situation and the steps that will be taken to address the identified problem.

Logic Model

Theoretical Framework

The United States is one of the most diversified countries in the world in terms of race and other factors such as sexual orientation because of the decades of immigration and freedom of expression. However, the problem of racism and discrimination still affects every aspect of the economic, political, and social lives of Americans. Scholars have developed theories to help explain the unique challenge that society faces because of its diversity. When focusing on the implementation of DEI, it is essential to discuss some of these theories to help understand the genesis of the problem and how society has been trying to address it.

Critical race theory is an academic concept that started to emerge about 40 years ago but gained massive popularity in the recent past. According to Ladson-Billings (2021), this theory examines how race, society, and laws in the United States intersect, directly challenging the liberal approach to racial injustice. It was mainly developed by African American scholars who conducted several studies and realized that the system is skewed against the minorities, especially the African Americans. Sawchuk (2021, para. 5) explains that the theory is based on the premise that “race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.” It is something that is deeply entrenched in the legal and social fabric of society. Race, as a social construct, can be traced back to the era of slavery.

When slavery was abolished, a new system emerged that classified whites as being superior to blacks and other minorities. Laws that were enacted during the era of White supremacy have remained in effect while others have transformed but in ways that still disfavor the minority (Ladson-Billings et al., 2021). It is more likely for an African American to be given a more severe sentence than a white for the same crime. Proponents of this theory attribute such scenarios to a rigged legal sentence where people of color are presumed guilty until proven otherwise, contrary to the spirit of the law. It becomes the responsibility of the defense to prove their innocence instead of the prosecutor having the burden to prove the guilt. The same problem is witnessed in the financial sector where the minorities are less likely to get any financial assistance, such as with their mortgage.

There is a general assumption that people of color are at a greater risk of defaulting than whites, which has led to the creation of unnecessary hurdles for the minorities who need financial assistance. Critical race theory seeks to overhaul the current liberal system and in place, review the social, legal, economic, and political hurdles that limit the ability of African Americans to enjoy equal rights as whites. This theory is relevant to this study because it focuses on empowering the minority, as enshrined in the DEI principles. The approach that it proposes may be rather radical to a section of the society, but it is essential to discuss them instead of ignoring them and find a common ground that is acceptable to the American society.

Comparison theory is another concept that is relevant when discussing the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. According to Jenco et al. (2020), human beings are naturally competitive, and as such, it is common for them to evaluate their capabilities, opinions, wealth, success, intelligence, and attractiveness with others. It creates the desire for an individual to better themselves, which is a common principle in a capitalistic economy. Developed by Leon Festinger, a psychologist, the theory explains that social comparison enables an individual to define their personal and social worth against others in society. One would easily acknowledge that they belong to a certain social class even if no one tells them that they fall in that class (Suls et al., 2020). It creases the social class in an individual’s mind, and they end up embracing their class.

The comparison theory explains that the level of comparison varies from one individual to the other and in different aspects of life. In most cases, it is always the race towards financial success as people view it as the truest way of achieving a higher social class. Others may focus on academic qualifications, the number of children one has, physical strength and attractiveness, capabilities in sports, and other aspects of life. According to Jenco et al. (2020), people who constantly compare themselves to others, especially those they view as being successful, are likely to be motivated to achieve greater success. On the flip side, there is the risk that they may become sad and deeply dissatisfied when they are unable to outdo their competitor even if they achieve a great improvement.

This theory may be viewed to contradict arguments of critical race theory in the context of this study. While critical race theory holds that it may be necessary to make radical changes in the social and legal systems in the country to create an equal environment for every American, comparison theory holds that the current problem may be caused by constant comparison. The American society has overcome some of the worst racist laws that denied the minorities the ability to achieve socio-economic and political success. Laws that segregated schools, churches, roads, and residential areas as being whites only or for the people of the color have changed (Farmer & Farmer, 2020). The problem that a section of the society view as major discrimination against the minorities arises from the act of comparison.

Some African Americans have made good progress in life and are more successful than many whites. However, that is not enough because when they compare themselves with the richest whites, they fall a class below. That does not mean the system has not changed over the years in favor of the minorities. It only means that through constant comparison, people get dissatisfied when they realize that others are doing better, and it is normal that they will find someone or something to blame for it.

Organization of the Study

This research proposal has three chapters. The first chapter is an introduction, which explains the genesis of the problem and provides a statement of the problem. The purpose of the study is stated in the chapter and specific questions will have to be answered using data from both primary and secondary sources. A theoretical framework helps in putting into context the problem being investigated and views that some scholars have embraced. A logic model was developed to help understand the problem and how it can be addressed effectively. Chapter 2 of the proposal focuses on a preliminary review of the literature. The chapter helps in understanding what other scholars have found out and the gaps that need to be addressed through the collection and analysis of primary data. The third chapter explains the method that the researcher intends to use to collect and process data. Discussed in this chapter include research methodology, sampling and sample size, instrumentation, validity, and reliability. The chapter also discusses data collection and management, data analysis, and ethical issues considered when collecting and analyzing data.

Literature Review


  1. Provide background information on the issue under investigation. In this chapter, the focus is to discuss findings that other scholars have made, which are relevant to this study.
  2. A review of the literature helps in identifying knowledge gaps and inconsistencies that need to be addressed. It eliminates cases where information that is already existing, is duplicated.

Theme 1: Understanding the Concept of Diversity

Overview of the concept of diversity:

  • In the context of this study, diversity refers to a state where people from different races, religions, ethnicity, and social background coexist in a societal system (Thompson, 2021).

Subtheme 1: Diversity in the United States:

  1. The United States is a highly diversified country, a fact that Thompson (2021) attributes to many years of immigration into the country. Diversity makes a society unique as it creates an environment where people from different demographical classes are represented.
  2. It may create major challenges, especially when some people value their identity instead of unity. DEI is meant to eliminate such challenges to help create a unified American society.

Theme 2: Types of Diversity

  1. Subtheme 1: Define the different types of diversity that exist.
  2. Subtheme 2: Types of diversity

    • Internal diversity focuses on factors such as race, ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, assigned sex, gender identity, cultural identity, mental ability, and physical ability.
    • External diversity focuses on education, personal interests, family status, relationship status, socio-economic status, and life experiences among others.
    • Organizational diversity entails job function, union affiliation, seniority, type of pay, place of work, employment status, and management status.
    • Worldview diversity is the fourth type, and it focuses on political beliefs, outlook on life, moral compass, and epistemology.

Theme 3: Assessment of DEI

  1. Subtheme 1: Need to assess the implementation of DEI
  2. Subtheme 2: specific factors that should be taken into consideration

    • The level of integration within the community under focus
    • The ease with which members of the community can access opportunities irrespective of their race or social class
    • The level of education among different members of the society
    • The level of acceptance of diversity among members of the society

Theme 4: Meaningful Action on DEI

Subtheme 1: The goal of DEI:

  • It eliminates numerous barriers that have limited the ability of the minority to prosper socially, economically, as well as politically.

Subtheme 2: To have a meaningful action on DEI, the following steps should be followed:

  1. The first step is to reveal all the relevant opportunities to members of society. The knowledge about the existence of the opportunity, expectations for candidates, and any other relevant information should be made available.
  2. The second step is to elevate equity to ensure that every member of society can take advantage of the opportunity. It involves ensuring that there is equal opportunity for every individual to tap into the identified opportunity.
  3. The third step is to activate diversity within the identified organization. It involves taking deliberate actions to ensure that when hiring, there is an effective representation of members of the community in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other relevant demographical factor. Griffen (2021) warns that when trying the achieve diversity, the qualifications of the applicants should not be ignored.
  4. The final stage is to lead inclusivity once it has been created. When an organization has recruited a diversified team, the next challenge is to ensure that they can work together as a unit. They should learn to face challenges that may arise and consider diversity as a strength instead of a factor that divides them.

Theme 5: Measuring the Impact of DEI

Subtheme 1: Impact of DEI on American society:

  • Importance of measuring the impact

Subtheme 2: Organizational level impact:

  1. Determining how well the entire organization is empowered. It should be possible for people from diverse backgrounds to ascend to higher levels of management because of their qualifications.
  2. Surveying employees is another way through which the assessment can be conducted. Their feedback can help determine the impact that the program has had on the organization.
  3. The measurement can be done by focusing on specific metrics within an organization. Some of the metrics that can be used include recruitment, retention, advancement, pay, and representation.

Theme 6: Statutory Authorization of MBDA and its Impact

The statutory authorization of MBDA:

  • Reasons for statutory authorization

Impacts of the new law on MBDA:

  1. The institution will have a fixed budget, which is higher than the current budget, to undertake its activities.
  2. The agency will no longer rely on the goodwill of the existing government to fund its activities.
  3. The agency will have the opportunity to increase the number of employees across the country.


  1. Understand the concepts of diversity and integration
  2. Implementation of DEI by MBDA
  3. Impact of executive orders on DEI implementation
  4. Identify the existing gaps in the research



The purpose of this study is to evaluate how effective MBDA has been in implementing DEI practices and the agency’s future impact since statutory authorization in 2021. The previous chapter provided a preliminary review of the literature to determine what other scholars say about this topic. In this chapter, it is necessary to meet specific expectations. The chapter reiterates the statement of the problem and research questions. It then discusses the research methodology and design. It explains the population and sample size that was used. The chapter then discusses issues related to the validity and reliability of the study, before explaining data collection and management. The chapter finally discusses the analysis approach used and how ethical issues were observed in collecting data and compiling the report.

Statement of the Problem

Implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs by federal agencies is often influenced by executive orders and the goodwill of the executive arm of the government. Although DEI seeks to address fundamental issues in society, it has always faced numerous challenges, especially when the existing regime prioritizes other policies at its expense. The decision by the current regime to give MBDA statutory status means that it will no longer be at the mercy of the existing government as it will be under Congress. This problem that the study seeks to address is the need to determine if the new status of MBDA will enable it to achieve its mandate more effectively than it was before the new law.

Research Questions

The review of the literature identified existing knowledge gaps that need to be addressed using primary data. By directly engaging individuals with firsthand information, it is possible to address existing misinformation, conflicting information, and lack of data in a given field. It is necessary to have specific questions that guide the process of collecting primary data from sampled individuals. The following are the specific questions that the researcher seeks to answer by collecting and analyzing primary data.

  1. What implication would MBDA have since becoming a statutory agency under Congress?
  2. What is the impact of MBDA now being regulated by Congress instead of the executive branch of office?
  3. What impact did the last two presidential administrations have on the program implementation and funding of the MBDA?

Research Methodology

When planning to conduct research, one of the factors that have to be clearly defined is the methodology that will be used. According to Busetto et al. (2020), the methodology that a researcher uses is often defined by the research question that has to be answered and the aim of the study. The chosen method should make it possible to achieve the aim and meet the specified objectives. In this study, the aim is to evaluate how effective MBDA has been in implementing DEI practices and the agency’s future impact since statutory authorization in 2021. To achieve this goal, the researcher considered the qualitative method as being appropriate. Atmowardoyo (2018) explains that this method goes beyond the use of statistics to provide a detailed explanation of a phenomenon. One can then understand how and why a given phenomenon happened the way it did, the consequences that it had, and ways in which it can be avoided or enhanced depending on its desirability. This method uses open-ended questions to allow participants to explain their responses in detail.

Research Design

When a research methodology has been defined, a researcher has the responsibility to define the appropriate design that can be used to facilitate data collection to help in describing a given phenomenon in detail. The researcher chose the qualitative method as the most effective way of analyzing data. As such, data should be collected in a way that facilitates the analysis of data qualitatively. According to Bougie and Sekaran (2020), factors such as availability of time, the geographic distribution of the participants, and the ease with which they can be reached are some of the main factors that define the method that is used. In this study, zoom interviews will be the most appropriate approach to collecting data. MBDA has a relatively small number of employees between 50 and 100 workers spread across the country. Physically reaching out to all of them in their respective locations may not be easy. However, through zoom interviews, it will be possible to interview them using a pre-developed questionnaire. The questionnaire will have open-ended questions to allow participants to provide a detailed explanation of specific phenomena, as is always required in qualitative analysis.

Population and Sample Size

The Minority Business Development Agency has a modest number of employees, which is estimated to be about 100 people. They are assigned specific roles across the country to implement DEI programs. The number sometimes fluctuates to about 50 when the agency is faced with financial challenges. The number of workers may increase having been made a statutory agency with a standard budget. However, the researcher is interested in collecting data from individuals who have been working at the agency for at least one year. It means that the recent recruits that could have been hired after the enactment of the law do not qualify to participate in the study.

The researcher will use simple random sampling design to select those who will take part in this study. Those who will meet the inclusion criteria will be randomly selected. For one to qualify as a participant, they should have worked at MBDA for at least 2 years. Within that period, they should have been directly involved with the implementation of DEI programs. The target is to have 40 individuals from this agency who can effectively respond to the research questions. This sample size was chosen because it is small enough to be engaged within the time available for the study and large enough to represent the entire study population. The participation of these individuals will be voluntary.

Sources of Data

Primary data will help in addressing the knowledge gaps identified in the literature review. As explained above, data will be sourced from a sample of current 40 employees of MBDA. A questionnaire was considered to be the appropriate instrument to facilitate the collection of data. The researcher will develop a questionnaire that captures all the fundamental aspects of the study. The instrument will have three sections, each focusing on specific issues. The first section will focus on the background of the participants. It is necessary to ensure that data is collected from a diversified group of people. This section will help in capturing the demographics in terms of race, religion, nationality, country of origin, gender, and age.

The second part will focus on the academic qualifications and experience of the participants. Le and Schmid (2022) explain that one is considered to have the authority to answer a specific question if they have the knowledge and experience about it. The last part of this instrument will focus on the implementation of DEI programs by MBDA. It will investigate how this entity has been affected by some of the recent regimes, the fundamental challenges that it faces, and how its elevation to a statutory agency has affected its performance. This instrument will have open-ended questions to ensure that respondents can provide detailed explanations when responding to the questions. The researcher will use the instrument to conduct an online interview with the selected participants.


It is necessary to explain the validity of the data that will be collected and analyzed in the report. The researcher has developed specific questions that accurately assess the specific concept that the study seeks to measure. These questions are based on the research topic and the primary aim of the study. These questions informed the contents of the questionnaire used to collect data. These measures helped in maintaining the focus of the study when collecting both primary and secondary data.


It was equally important to ensure that the data collected was as reliable as possible because the report may inform policies that this organization or other entities may make. To ensure that the study is replicable and capable of yielding similar results when repeated, a standard instrument of data collection was developed to guide the process. It had clearly defined sections and specific questions. The method used to collect and process data are also clearly defined. It means that when replicated, it is possible to get the same outcome.

Data Collection and Management

Primary data will be collected from the sampled participants through online platforms because it is not easy reaching out to every individual. After obtaining the consent and IRB approval, as explained in the section below, the researcher will contact the sampled participants and inform them about the study and the role that they are expected to play. For those who agree to be part of the study, a questionnaire will be sent to them before the interview to allow them to familiarize themselves with the questions. An online interview, through a direct WhatsApp call, will be conducted on the agreed day and time.

Data Analysis

The study seeks to assess the impact of executive orders on the implementation of DEI programs in the country. Qualitative research design was considered the most appropriate method of processing primary data. Once data is collected, the next step will be the analysis to help respond directly to the aim of the study (Braun & Clarke, 2014). The researcher intends to use thematic analysis to process data. Respondents will have the opportunity to explain their answers, which will then be processed into codes and then themes. These themes will directly respond to the primary aim of the study.

Ethical Considerations

A researcher has the responsibility of ensuring that ethical concerns are maintained when collecting primary data. One of the first ethical steps that a researcher has to take before starting the process of collecting primary data is to contact the management of the relevant agency to seek permission to conduct the study (Le & Schmid, 2022). In this case, primary data had to be collected from employees of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). As such, the management of this agency had to be informed about the research, the goal it needed to realize, the reasons why the firm was chosen, and the kind of information that was needed from the employees. The researcher will only contact the employees after getting the necessary approval from the management of the agency.

Once approval is obtained, it is ethically important to adequately inform individual participants about the study. Before subjecting them to various questions about DEI implementation, the researcher will explain to them the significance of this study and the specific goals that it seeks to achieve. The researcher will explain to the sampled participants the reasons why they are selected to take part in the study. Eden and Nielsen (2020) observe that sometimes an employee may have a concern or need clarification before they can give their consent. Such concerns and clarifications should be promptly addressed to ensure that anyone taking part in the study is comfortable.

When collecting data from primary sources, it is often advisable for one to observe ethical considerations. Diversity, equity, and inclusion remain to be divisive issues in the United States. Although there is a consensus that it is necessary to create an enabling environment and a platform where every American citizen can achieve social, economic, and political success, the implementation of some of the programs remains a challenge. A section of society believes that some of the current programs are not fair. When handling such a divisive issue, Atmowardoyo (2018) advises that it is important to protect the identity of the participants. The goal is to ensure that no one can trace them and subject them to any form of attack or victimization because of their opinion. The participants were assigned specific codes instead of using their actual names. The researcher identified them as Participant 1, Participant 2, Participant 3, and so on to ensure that their identity would remain concealed from anyone reading the document.

When collecting primary data, it is always necessary to ensure that participation is voluntary. Frost and Ledgerwood (2020) explain that those involved in providing primary data should do it without any form of coercion. They are more likely to provide credible information when they do so willingly than when they feel forced to take part in the study. In this study, respondents were informed that their participation is voluntary. They had the liberty of withdrawing from the study whenever they felt compelled to do so because of personal reasons or when they had to attend official duties. This was necessary to ensure that those who provided data for the study did so willingly.

As an academic project, the researcher will ensure that all the rules and regulations set by the school are effectively observed. The document will be prepared and delivered within the time set by the school. All forms of plagiarism or academic malpractices will be avoided. The researcher will correctly cite information obtained from other sources using American Psychological Association (APA 7) referencing style.


This chapter has provided a guideline that will be followed when conducting the study. It explains how the researcher will determine how effective MBDA has been in implementing DEI programs and the agency’s future impact since statutory authorization in 2021. The statement of the problem and research questions are clearly defined to help guide the process of data collection. Research methodology and research design are equally discussed. It explains why the researcher considered qualitative research design as the most appropriate way of analyzing data. Sampling and sample size are factors that have to be defined at this early stage of the research. The chapter explains the method of sampling used and the sample size that was considered adequate. The instrumentation will help in understanding how primary data was obtained from the participants. The chapter also explains the issues of validity and reliability, which Atmowardoyo (2018) notes are essential in an academic report. Data collection and management, data analysis, and ethical considerations are the other factors that are discussed in this chapter.


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