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OPIC Workshop for Phoenix Area Draws 75 Small Businesses from 5 States

May 28, 2014

PHOENIX – An Expanding Horizons Workshop held last week for small businesses organized by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew over 75 small business owners from 5 states to Phoenix, educating participants about how OPIC products can help them take advantage of investment opportunities in emerging markets.

The May 22 event was the latest in a highly successful series that has educated 2,700 small and medium-sized business owners across the United States about OPIC products and services.

“In every new location where OPIC’s Expanding Horizons reaches out, motivated American small business owners have come forward to learn about OPIC’s innovative tools that allow them to expand operations in developing overseas markets,” said OPIC’s Director of Outreach and Public Affairs Dr. Larry Spinelli. “Our visit to Phoenix was no different. The turnout from multiple states was proof that not only are these private entrepreneurs looking to grow - creating U.S. jobs and generating exports - but that OPIC is a trusted mechanism for helping them achieve this goal.”

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.

Dr. Michael Finney, Associate Professor of Global Management and Faculty Lead of the Emerging Markets Laboratories at Thunderbird School of Global Management presented a keynote address to attendees.

Since its establishment in 1971, OPIC’s support to Arizona companies has created over 1,200 U.S. jobs, generated $342 million in exports and an estimated $50 million in procurement of goods and services from the state, almost half of which were from small businesses. Small businesses and job growth have also benefitted from OPIC support in nearby California, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.

Local establishments supporting the conference included the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Small Business Association, Arizona Commerce Authority and the City of Phoenix.

Since 2006, OPIC has held Expanding Horizons events in Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, 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 June in Orlando, registration is open at


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.