Friday, July 16, 2010

SBA Offers New Podcasts to Help Small Businesses Break Into the Global Market

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering a new set of three export-oriented podcasts offering valuable information on issues and challenges that small-business exporters may face when dealing with specific countries.

The podcasts, featuring interviews with business representatives from Uganda, Cameroon and Bahrain, are part of a comprehensive effort by SBA to promote and support President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative. The interviews focus on what U.S. companies can expect when exporting to those countries, and provide information relevant to their respective business and import environments.

"U.S. small businesses looking to increase sales and profit should look beyond the U.S. borders," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills [pictured]. "Nearly 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., and small businesses need to factor that in to their strategic planning. We’re hoping these tools will help them do that, so they can grow and create jobs here at home."

The podcasts on Uganda and Cameroon include interviews with two women business owners who are members of the Africa Business Women Network, an organization that supports a network of businesswomen’s organizations in Africa. The podcast on Bahrain features an interview with an official of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The podcasts are available online at, and include transcripts. They provide valuable information on country infrastructure, types of U.S. products and services in demand, cultural tips on how to do business, plus other relevant issues.

In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 27, 2010, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative as part of an effort to promote and achieve long-term, sustainable economic growth for the United States. The President has a goal of doubling exports over the next five years -- an increase that will support 2 million American jobs. The SBA is committed to supporting NEI by offering American small businesses the resources they need to break into, and succeed in, the global market.

In addition to the new online tools, SBA resource partners Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE -- as well as U.S. Export Assistance Centers -- are available to assist small businesses that are interested in exporting in every U.S. state and territory.

These resource partners can help entrepreneurs identify potential export markets; facilitate export transactions; develop links between United States small-business and pre-screened foreign buyers; advise on participation in international trade shows; assist in obtaining export financing; and developing or re-orienting marketing and production strategies.

In addition to counseling resources in every state and territory, there are export specialists available at the eight International Trade Export Assistance Centers, plus SCORE online international trade advisers.

There are 19 U.S. Export Assistance Centers located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States. USEACs are one-stop shops ready to provide small- or medium-sized businesses with personalized local export assistance by professionals from the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. For more information about USEACs, go to

To find your local small-business counseling resources, please visit

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration

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