This week is National Small Business Week, an event organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to recognize American entrepreneurs and small business owners. OPIC understands that American small businesses are the heart of the country’s economy and also can play a significant role in the global economy.
Last year, 73 percent of the deals OPIC approved were with U.S. small businesses and the agency is working to continue that momentum. On June 27, OPIC will take its Expanding Horizons workshop to Fort Worth, Texas to educate more small businesses from parts of the southwestern United States about the benefits of expanding into emerging markets, and the ways that OPIC finance and insurance tools can support their efforts.
OPIC tracks data on the impact of its work on individual states, which shows that the projects it has supported for Texas businesses have supported an estimated 9,119 jobs in the state and an estimated $3.3 billion in procurement of goods and services from the state, the majority of which are supplied by small businesses. Neighboring states have also benefited. OPIC-supported projects in Oklahoma have supported an estimated 7,195 U.S. jobs, along with an estimated $210.4 million in procurement of local goods and services. In New Mexico, OPIC projects have supported an estimated 423 U.S. jobs and procurement of $9 million of local goods and services.
Developing countries are home to a large and growing portion of the world’s consumers and represent a significant opportunity for American businesses. In fact, emerging markets have grown from 23 percent of the world economy in 1999 to an expected 50 percent in 2013. These markets will be the majority of the global GDP soon. There has never been a better time for U.S. small businesses to explore new markets.
For example, American entrepreneurs from Texas were able to build a Mexican food business in Russia with a $1.5 million OPIC loan. ZAO Solntse Mexico was able to utilize the loan to fund its expansion, primarily on tortilla-making equipment manufactured from a supplier in southern California. ZAO Solntse Mexico so successfully introduced Mexican food products to Russia that it generated $9 million in revenues in 2010 and was acquired by Mission Foods, a publicly-traded company based in Irving, Texas.
The June 27 Expanding Horizons event in Fort Worth is the third of six events OPIC has planned for 2013. For more information about these workshops, click here.