Media

OPIC Workshop for Minneapolis Area Draws 80 Small Businesses from 11 States


April 2, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS – An Expanding Horizons Workshop held today for small businesses organized by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew over 80 small business owners from 11 states to Minneapolis, educating participants about how OPIC products can help them take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities in emerging markets.

“I know that as more and more U.S. small businesses engage in the global marketplace, you face new questions and unique challenges,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who along with fellow Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken provided taped welcoming remarks for the conference’s participants. 

“OPIC is part of helping Minnesota businesses get access to capital and opening up new markets for their products,” added Sen. Franken in his remarks.

Today’s event is the latest in a highly successful series that has educated nearly 2,700 small and medium-sized business owners across the United States about OPIC products and services.

“The Expanding Horizons conferences are showcases of OPIC’s tools and support that can provide U.S. small businesses with a competitive advantage in developing markets,” said OPIC’s Director of Outreach and Public Affairs Dr. Larry Spinelli. “OPIC’s support of positive development around the world starts with innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, qualities that are abundant in the small business leaders who gathered at today’s event.”

OPIC speakers outlined the innovative financial tools – among them financing and political risk insurance – that the agency has used for over 40 years to help U.S. businesses successfully invest in emerging markets. Other speakers included senior government representatives from the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the Minority Business Development Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Since its establishment in 1971, OPIC has supported an estimated 375 jobs in Minnesota and an estimated $145 million in procurement of goods and services from the state, over two-thirds of which were from small businesses. Small businesses and job growth have also benefitted from OPIC support in nearby Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas.

Local organizations supporting the conference included the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Small Business Development Centers, the Minnesota Trade Office, St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership of Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul, the city of Minneapolis, the city of St. Paul, the North Dakota Trade Office, and the Lake Street Council.
Since 2006, OPIC has held Expanding Horizons events in Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Orange (CA), Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Raleigh.

The next workshop is scheduled for May in Phoenix.

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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $76 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 278,000 American jobs.