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OPIC’s impact in California: Jobs, exports and expanded opportunities for small businesses

Investing abroad pays dividends at home. On Wednesday November 13, OPIC hosted its latestExpanding Horizons workshop in San Jose, California, where more than 170 businesses heard about the finance and insurance tools that OPIC provides to support American companies seeking to expand their operations overseas.

Because many of the world’s fastest-growing markets are in developing countries, expanding abroad can help create U.S. jobs and lead to procurement of U.S. goods and services. And because these promising emerging markets can also be challenging places to operate, OPIC each year travels around the U.S. to educate small businesses about the ways it can support their efforts to expand into developing countries.

OPIC has a long and successful track record supporting businesses of all sizes in emerging markets. In California alone, OPIC has worked with businesses in the energy, construction, high-tech and agriculture sectors. OPIC-supported projects have supported more than 7,000 jobs in California since 1971 as well as $2.7 billion in procurement of local goods and services, many from small businesses. Hundreds of businesses from San Diego to Palo Alto, Compton and Santa Barbara have benefited from this procurement, supplying goods and services to OPIC-supported projects in emerging markets.

Across the U.S., OPIC projects in developing countries have supported 277,000 American jobs and an estimated $75 billion in exports since 1971. When President Obama set a target in 2010 of doubling America’s exports by 2015, he also gave agencies like OPIC an emphatic directive to help more small businesses invest and export abroad. OPIC has long worked to help small businesses expand into emerging markets and has in recent years significantly increased its outreach to small businesses.

In 2013, OPIC hosted five Expanding Horizons workshops in San Jose, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; Salt Lake City; Cleveland and Charleston, South Carolina. A new schedule for 2014 workshops will be released later this year.


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