The SBTDC’s International Business Development program has been honored by the U.S. Export – Import Bank as its City/State Partner of the Year. This recognition was made at the Bank’s annual conference in Washington D.C. on April 23, 2015.
The Ex-Im Bank is the United State’s agency for export credit. It provides working capital loan guarantees to support export sales. It also provides credit insurance against commercial and political non-payment risks. Its City/State Partners in each state support that mission by introducing the Bank’s financing and credit insurance programs to the business community.
The SBTDC’s International Business Counselors work closely with small to mid-sized businesses across North Carolina who are interested in exporting. In the past year, they helped 381 clients identify international market opportunities, create market entry strategies, access financing and credit insurance and begin exporting. In fiscal year 2014, Ex-Im Bank supported more than $256 million of North Carolina’s exports – 26 percent of which were small-business exports.
“We are extremely honored to receive the Ex-Im C/S Partner of the Year award–it means a lot to us,” said Dr. Mike Seibert, International Business Development Director for the North Carolina SBTDC. “It represents nearly two decades of productive collaboration that makes a significant difference in terms of job creation and economic impact for North Carolina. Our partnership with Ex-Im Bank works well because we share a passion for small business development–it’s vital to our economy.”
To expand its reach and depth of service, the International Business Development unit has partnered with a number of university campuses to create an experiential learning opportunity for selected graduate business students interested in doing in-depth international market research and analysis work which will help client businesses make better decisions on markets and opportunities. Currently participating campuses include: Western Carolina, Appalachian State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina, Campbell University and Elon University.
The SBTDC functions as the business and technology extension service of The University of North Carolina System. It is supported, in part, by the US Small Business Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency. Through its 16 offices, each of which is hosted by a campus of The University, the SBTDC provides extensive business advisory services, management education and access to publications and resource materials to help existing small businesses and business startups make better decisions and succeed. For more information, visit www.sbtdc.org.