The Small Business Administration (SBA) has partnered with Visa Inc. to launch a campaign to help educate small businesses across America about the current global market and thus motivate them to tap into export segments to help their businesses to grow. The SBA and Visa are co-sponsoring the “2013 Export Video Contest” in which small business owners submit for competition creative videos demonstrating how they became successful exporters for a top prize of $10,000. Videos must highlight everything from best accounting practices to ensure prompt overseas payments to most important lessons learned, and will be used to educate other small businesses about the benefits of exporting and the government programs that can help support these efforts.
The strength of the current global market is one of several reasons why the SBA is putting such emphasis on export activity. Currently, nearly 96 percent of consumers and over two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power reside outside the United States. Small business success stories have demonstrated a significant expansion of opportunities by targeting other countries, resulting in boosted sales and enhanced profitability and growth. The SBA believes that this deep consumer base will play an important role in the long-term success of small businesses across the U.S. while building a strong middle class by fueling economic opportunities and jobs.
Over the past couple of years, the SBA has driven forward several other initiatives aimed at helping small businesses expand into that global market. For instance, since FY2009, the SBA has guaranteed 6,400 loans to small business exporters for over $3.3 billion, thereby supporting over $6.3 billion in exports. In addition, the SBA has facilitated direct support to small businesses by installing 19 international trade officers at U.S. Export Assistance Centers to provide counseling, support export financing, and assist owners in finding working capital. The SBA has also trained over 29,000 lenders on their export loan guarantee programs, and has assisted over 58,000 small businesses in discovering the various exporting and SBA finance options they have available to them.
The SBA and Visa are accepting entries through April 5, 2013. Eligibility, contest rules, and other information can be found at http://exportvideo.challenge.gov/.
Mills, Karen (U.S. Small Business Administration). “It’s a Small (Business) World: The Benefits of Exporting.” The Huffington Post. 3/6/13.