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Created on January 24, 2014
National Export Initiative Connects Businesses with World Markets
Did you know that according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, minority-owned firms are twice as likely to export as other U.S.-owned businesses? The data indicates that minority-owned firms are best positioned to succeed and expand in the growing global economy. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the United States, exporting enables businesses to boost their bottom line while building their international competitiveness. For many U.S. firms, international diversification has enabled them to weather changes in the economy much better than if they had been selling only in their backyard.
That said, many more minority-owned firms could be exporting more. Many business owners that I meet don’t export, in part because they believe exporting is too burdensome, or they’re unaware of the various resources available to assist them. However, expanding your business through exporting is more viable today than ever before. If you have a good track record of selling in the United States, one of the most open and competitive markets in the world, you are likely a good candidate to make overseas sales.
In 2010, President Obama launched the National Export Initiative (NEI),aimed at expanding federal government-wide efforts to assist exporters while supporting millions of U.S. jobs. These efforts have helped contribute to record U.S. exports culminating in an all-time high of $2.2 trillion in 2012. As a result of the NEI, more and more businesses are taking advantage of key export tools and resources to expand their global market share.
Created on January 22, 2014
On October 23, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding describes an evolving method of raising capital that has been used outside of the securities arena to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects ranging from innovative product ideas to artistic endeavors like movies or music. Title III of the JOBS Act created an exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be easily used to offer and sell securities as well. The JOBS Act also established the foundation for a regulatory structure for this funding method.
SEC Chair Mary Jo White noted that the intent of the JOBS Act is to make it easier for startups and small businesses to raise capital from a wide range of potential investors and provide additional investment opportunities for investors.
Created on January 17, 2014
One of the most effective ways to grow your business is also one of the oldest: networking. While it may not get as much buzz these days as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still essential for building a business.
When we think of networking often times images of happy hour, spending an inordinate amount of time in the evenings at a restaurant or office building with a whole lot of chit chat that may yield little to no business at all. While this type of activity can seem tiresome and unnecessary, it can be a great way to get your business off the ground. This simple, cost-effective (sometimes FREE) way of advertising is a means of getting the word out about your business.
Created on January 13, 2014
During President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address, he expressed that, “Latin America represents an incredible opportunity for the United States, especially when it comes to my top priority as President: creating good, middle-class jobs… Right now, over 40 percent of our exports go to the Americas.”
As part of the Obama administration’s continued work to promote exports and strengthen the U.S. economy, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker unveiled "Look South,” a new initiative aimed specifically at increasing U.S. trade with Latin American economies with whom the U.S. has free trade agreements (FTA).
Look South is part of the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda,” and supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative by encouraging the expansion of export markets. Minority business enterprises (MBEs) are uniquely positioned to benefit from the Look South effort, which will help them expand to new export markets and generate more revenue. MBEs are twice as likely to export compared to non-minority firms, more than three times as likely to generate 100 percent of all their sales from exports, and are better able to expand abroad because of linguistic and cultural ties to a region. View Minority-Owned Firms Lead the Nation in Exporting Fact Sheet
The U.S. Small Business Administration will present Not Just Contracts: The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, the first of a free, two-part webinar series on Jan.15 at 2 p.m. EST. The second webinar will be held Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. ET.
The hour-long webinars will cover:
Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification
Technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program
Common misconceptions about the 8(a) Program
The top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned
The first webinar will focus on how the 8(a) Program works, eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses and common myths about the program.