SBA Names Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion

Release Date: 
Friday, March 28, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Number: 
Sherree Stratton (612) 370-2325

MINNEAPOLIS – Jan Jordet, Senior Director of Consulting and Financing Services at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), based in Minneapolis, has been named the Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

The Minority Small Business Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of minority-owned small businesses. Yvonne Cheung Ho, President and CEO of MEDA, nominated Jordet for this award.

For nearly 18 years, Jordet has remained dedicated to the establishment and growth of minority business enterprises across the state of Minnesota. Although a brief stint at WomenVenture and a period of employment with a minority business enterprise temporarily diverted her attention, Jordet has singularly focused on helping entrepreneurs of color succeed.

Jordet believes that the development of sustainable businesses that create quality jobs is a key solution to overcoming poverty and racial economic disparities. In her current role as Director of
Consulting and Financing Services at MEDA, she has focused efforts and raised funds to continue MEDA’s strong support of its clients. For example, her leadership brought multiple government agencies together to address obstacles and streamline the certification process that is crucial for minority business enterprises. She also was instrumental in tripling the lending capital managed by MEDA to provide financing for MBEs who may not be bankable under traditional guidelines.

By working together with area banks and utilizing the services of the SBA, MEDA has been able to leverage its own capital by 5:1. A record $27 million in financing was closed in 2013.

Like the founders of MEDA, Jordet understands that living wage employment is the most effective path to self-sufficiency and poverty reduction. She has devoted countless hours and resources to small business owners so they can make a systemic and measurable impact on job creation within communities of color.

Under Jordet’s leadership, MEDA successfully won accreditation as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The CDFI Fund grant, coupled with a variety of other financing sources, helps MEDA mitigate banking risks and introduces MEDA clients as new customers to mainstream banking.

Jordet’s creative work with small business owners led to the receipt of two awards from the federal Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the Department of Commerce.  These funding awards have opened new market opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

The MBDA Business Center in Minneapolis is a regionally focused center that offers procurement expertise and individualized business consulting that emphasizes large public and private sector financing, contracting, acquisitions and access to global market opportunities. The
MBDA Federal Procurement Center has a national focus to connect minority-owned businesses to federal contracts. Operating from an office in Washington D.C., the Federal Procurement
Center is the first Minority Business Development Agency business center solely focused on federal contracting. The center facilitates teaming relationships, helps with procurement opportunities and supplies clients with updates on federal programs and procurement trends.

Jordet has worked on the front line of small business operations in addition to being an advocate.
For over seven years, she was a senior executive for a trucking company in St. Paul. She subsequently served as an account executive for a messenger business before returning to her advocacy role as Vice President at WomenVenture. At WomenVenture, Jordet created alliances with city, state and other community and nonprofit agencies to leverage resources for women entrepreneurs.

Her professional and civic engagement is a testament to her passion and her commitment to support women and minority-owned business enterprises.

Jordet will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6, 2014, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

For more information:

Jan Jordet
Senior Director of Consulting and Financing Services
250 Second Avenue South, Suite 106
Minneapolis, MN 55404