OPIC Seminar for California Small Businesses Draws 170
September 30, 2011
ORANGE, California – A workshop for California small businesses organized by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew 170 participants from ten states, educating business owners about how OPIC products can help them take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities in emerging markets.
The Expanding Horizons workshop, held at the DoubleTree Hotel Anaheim in Orange, was the latest in a highly successful series that has educated more than 1200 small and medium-sized business owners across the United States about OPIC products and services.
“Small businesses are the essential engine of the American economy, generating two-thirds of U.S. jobs and roughly half of our GDP – yet they depend on the same opportunities to succeed as others. OPIC is uniquely positioned to enable California SMEs to make the most of investment opportunities in high-growth emerging markets – and business owners certainly took full advantage of that today,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “We were extremely pleased by the large turnout.”
OPIC speakers outlined the innovative financial tools – among them financing and political risk insurance – that the agency has used for 40 years to help U.S. businesses successfully invest in emerging markets. In addition, the seminar featured a special session on OPIC support for renewable energy and clean energy technology projects, a priority for the agency. Participants also benefited from networking sessions and opportunities to meet one-on-one with government officials.
The keynote speaker was Ricardo Tejada, Managing Director of Vnesto Capital, a Los Angeles-based firm which provides capital for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Other speakers included Jeff Williamson, State Director of the California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD); Andrea Lupo, Assistant Director for Policy and Program of the U.S. Trade & Development Agency; Richard Swanson, Regional Director of the U.S. Commercial Service; David Josephson, Regional Director of the U.S. Export Import Bank; and Martin Selander, Regional Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration; as well as senior OPIC staff members.
Organizations supporting the seminar were the Africa-USA Chamber of Commerce; Asian American Business Women Association; Asian Business Association of Los Angeles; Asian Business Association of Orange County; California Asia Business Council; California Centers for International Trade Development; California Chamber of Commerce; Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Korean Chamber of Commerce of Orange County; Latin Business Association; Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Long Beach; Southern California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County
Since 2006, OPIC has held Expanding Horizons workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, St. Louis, Denver and Philadelphia.