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Blog August 2012
On day three of National Director David Hinson’s five-day U.S. interagency trip to Brazil, he met with a group of prominent Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs from Bahia, which has one of the largest Afro-Brazilian populations in the country. Dialogue between Hinson and Afro-Brazilian business owners centered on the many challenges they face. In addition to their biggest obstacle—the ability to obtain the capital financing required for their businesses to grow—they discussed a number of industries that offer the most promise for them, citing automobiles, tourism, construction, cosmetics, and mining.
One member of this group was Ms. Ana Matos, who managed to build a successful cosmetics manufacturing plant in Salvador, one of the nine municipalities in the northern region. In spite of the many obstacles and challenges common to Afro-Brazilians, Ms. Matos’s company, GenteBonita, is worth $3 million.
David Hinson is National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. He is currently in Brazil as a member of a Federal interagency delegation on the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial Inequality.
I am sitting with Luciana Mello, an Afro-Brazilian entrepreneur whose consulting company, Prama Consulting, assists small and medium-sized businesses export from Brazil. One of her main lines of business is language translation services. As businesses continue to move to a global economy, there is a growing need for translation services.
Most of Mello’s clients are Afro-Brazilian companies that export primarily within Latin America. When asked about exporting to the U.S., Luciana said “Most of my clients don't consider exporting to the United States because they feel that the market is too difficult to enter and too large, but if they could find a U.S. partner, they would be interested.”
MBDA National Director Hinson and U.S. Government Delegation Trip to Brazil Builds International Relationships
MBDA National Director Hinson and Shawn Ricks, Senior Advisor to the National Director on Global Affairs began a five-day trip to Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Brazil. This trip will provide an opportunity for MBDA to build relationships with key stakeholder groups essential to reaching its export targets under the National Export Initiative, create greater access to emerging markets for minority business enterprises, and support job creation in the United States.
On Monday, Director Hinson and Senior Advisor Ricks met with International Trade Administration Senior Commercial Officer Brian Brisson and his team to discuss business opportunities for minority-owned businesses in Brazil. As Latin America’s biggest economy, Brazil has strong domestic demands and a growing middle class. Its diversified economy offers U.S. companies, especially minority-owned – who are nearly twice as likely to export as non-minority owned business, many opportunities to export their goods and services.
Breakeven analysis is a tool used to determine when a business will be able to cover all its expenses and begin to make a profit. For the startup business, it is extremely important to know your startup costs, which provide you with the information you need to generate enough sales revenue to pay the ongoing expenses related to running your business.
A startup business owner must understand that $5,000 of product sales will not cover $5,000 in monthly overhead expenses. The cost of selling $5,000 in retail goods could easily be $3,000 at the wholesale price, so the $5,000 in sales revenue only provides $2,000 in gross profit. The breakeven point is reached when revenue equals all business costs.
This fiscal year for the first time, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has set an all-time single-year record of more than $500 million in export financing for minority-owned and woman-owned businesses in the United States. The Bank’s financing has supported more than 400 transactions and an estimated 7,000 American jobs across the country.
Ex-Im Bank employs a business-development team devoted exclusively to assisting minority-owned and woman-owned businesses. The team provides resources on how to access global markets and use Ex-Im’s export financing to break into or expand export sales.