Our Impact

MBELDEF attorneys have played an important role in over 30 cases in federal and state courts and regulatory bodies, including as amicus curiae in several landmark Supreme Court cases.

For 40 years, we have had a huge impact by providing expert, non-partisan, legal advocacy and other assistance and research to hundreds of businesses, legislatures, and executive branch officials at the highest level of federal, state, and local government to promote fair and effective MBE policies.

This crucial work has ensured continued access to opportunity for thousands of businesses. MBEs drive tax revenue, job creation, and help decrease joblessness in all communities — most especially within minority communities.

On average, 70% of MBE employees are diverse, which far outpaces that of majority firms. Expanding the number of successful MBEs positively impacts these communities while positively impacting our nation’s GDP.

There is no doubt that we are up against new and formidable challenges as extremist opponents of DEI step up their efforts to undermine business diversity across the board. But MBELDEF has the track record and expertise to build the next generation of legal advocates to take on these challenges and prevail.

The Facts

Why we do this work


A 2021 study of small businesses by Federal Reserve Banks found that, of firms applying for traditional financing, 40% of white-owned firms received all of the financing they sought, compared to 31% of Asian-owned firms, 20% of Hispanic-owned, and only 13% of Black-owned firms. The study found this trend persists even among firms with good credit scores.


Data from the Census Bureau finds that there are 32.9 million businesses (employer and non-employer) in the United States with $40.2 trillion in receipts. 11.1 million businesses are minority- owned, but together they only account for $1.9 trillion in receipts. In other words, while one third of American businesses are minority-owned, they account for less than 5% of receipts.


A report published by the Knight Foundation found that non-diverse-owned firms managed a stunning 98.6% of a sample representing $82.24 trillion in assets under management. Only 1.4% of assets were managed by diverse-owned firms (defined as firms owned by minorities and women).

The MBELDEF Impact

We have been fighting for MBEs for 40 years, collaborating with diverse leaders in law and business in the public and private sectors to ensure a future where minority businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.

Inspiring Track Record & Credibility

Through our work, we've earned an inspiring track record and credibility as we've fought for the legal rights of minority businesses at every crucial moment of the last four decades, whether in Supreme Court cases, regulatory overhauls, or efforts to support the development of Mend It Don’t End It (The 1995 Clinton Administration Affirmative Action Review).


We are the only LEGAL advocates working solely for MBEs. Right now there are existential threats to minority businesses from extremist legal groups. Trade associations are not fully equipped to protect you from these legal attacks. We are.


Our work is steeped in leveling the playing field for diverse business owners. We endeavor to protect the legal rights and options for all minority businesses so they can FINALLY have a fair chance. We're legal experts committed to fighting for the success of all minority businesses and entrepreneurs.

A Powerful Voice for Equity & Inclusion

We have developed a sterling reputation for ensuring that the voices of MBEs are heard and their missions are achieved regarding equity and inclusion by advocating for fair practices, policies, and capacity-building programs.

Donate Today

Donate Today

By supporting MBELDEF, you directly contribute to creating a more inclusive business environment and driving positive change for underrepresented communities.

Steven Sims, a current Board Member, received both his BA and MS from Columbia University. He is a nationally recognized advocate for minority businesses and, among other roles, served as Vice President for Programs, Field Operations, and Government Relations for the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) where his responsibilities included the development, coordination, and implementation of programs and projects, and, where necessary, he provided technical assistance/training to the National Office as well as its Regional Councils.

He also created and led the NMSDC Government Relations Office in Washington DC. Over many years working with MBELDEF, he and Tony Robinson, were able to create synergy between the two organizations which resulted in the protection and support for minority business development around the country. Mr. Sims also has a wealth of experience stemming from important positions in several public, private, and nonprofit entities and institutions.

Nicholas Perkins, past Chairman of the Board and current Board Member, holds an undergraduate degree from Fayetteville State University and an MBA from Howard University. He is nationally recognized for his dynamic and visionary entrepreneurial leadership and has received many awards and accolades.

The son of a single mother, Perkins was only 24 years old when he founded Perkins Management Services which specializes in providing contract food service management to colleges, universities, hospitals, and the Department of Defense. At 40, Perkin’s acquired Fuddrucker’s restaurant chain, becoming the first African American to own a nationwide burger franchise.

Perkins is passionate about civil rights and is a Trustee of the National Urban League and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Sarah von der Lippe, the pro-bono Chief Legal Counsel, holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard University. Ms. von der Lippe is herself a small business owner, having founded a solo civil rights legal practice devoted to defending and promoting the success of minority businesses across the nation. She is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts on the law and policy related to MBEs.

For most of the past two decades, Ms. von der Lippe has acted as the Chief Legal Counsel to MBELDEF on a completely pro-bono basis and has assisted Mr. Robinson in every aspect of operating MBELDEF as an unfunded but agile and effective legal watchdog organization.

Monique Young, who currently acts as MBELDEF’s Chief Accounting Officer and Development Strategist has a BS in Accounting from Shaw University, MBA from Strayer University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Walden University. She enjoys working with numbers, administration, and strategy.

In addition, she is a minority business owner as co-owner of One Accord Services a licensed General Contractor, and a Drywall and Metal Framing Subcontractor based in Raleigh North Carolina. Ms. Young is currently preparing to apply to law school in her (nonexistent) free time so that she can be the vanguard of the next generation of MBELDEF legal watchdogs.

Send A Check

If you're interested in donating and would like to send a check,

Send your check to:
Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund (MBELDEF)
P.O. Box 15323
Washington, D.C. 20003