OPIC will take its popular Expanding Horizons workshop to Charleston, South Carolina on May 7 in an effort to educate more small businesses from the southeastern United States about the benefits of expanding into emerging markets, and the ways that OPIC finance and insurance tools can support their efforts.
OPIC began its Expanding Horizons series in 2006 in recognition of the fact that small businesses, which are so critical to the domestic economy, can also be key players in the global economy, and that by expanding into new markets, they can help drive procurement of U.S. goods and services.
Indeed, since 1971, OPIC projects in developing countries have supported procurement of U.S. goods and services that have generated an estimated $75 billion in exports, while supporting an estimated 277,000 American jobs. Many of those benefits have flowed to South Carolina. OPIC tracks data on the impact of its work on individual states, which shows that the projects it has supported for South Carolina businesses have supported an estimated 473 jobs in the state and an estimated $304.7 million 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 North Carolina have supported an estimated 2,819 jobs in the state, along with an estimated $171.5 million in procurement of local goods and services. And in Georgia, OPIC projects have supported an estimated 2,068 jobs and procurement of $192 million of local goods and services.
Developing countries, which are home to a large and growing portion of the world’s consumers, represent a significant opportunity for American businesses. Africa, for example, is home to seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world and the number of households with discretionary income is expected to grow 50% over the next decade. But while many major corporations are already tapping into these high-growth markets, smaller businesses have been slower to enter.
The May 7 Expanding Horizons event in Charleston is the second of six events OPIC has planned for 2013. For more information about these workshops, click here.