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OPIC Workshop in Long Beach Draws 160 Small Businesses

June 18, 2015

Seeking to build on over $6.6 billion in OPIC development finance commitments to California businesses since 1971
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Lawrence Spinelli (right), presents an award to Carlos Figueroa, CEO of the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognizing a decade-long partnership during an OPIC “Expanding Horizons” small business outreach event held June 16 in Long Beach, Calif. 

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew 160 guests from four states this week to its Expanding Horizons small business workshop in Long Beach, Calif.

The event is the 26th in a decade-long nationwide series OPIC hosts that has educated thousands of small businesses about the opportunities of expanding into developing markets, and the ways OPIC can support this growth.

OPIC speakers outlined the innovative financing and political risk insurance tools that the agency has provided for more than 40 years to help U.S. businesses successfully invest in emerging markets. Other speakers at the workshop included senior government representatives from the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the U.S. Export Assistance Center, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

During the event, OPIC also commemorated a ten-year partnership with the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, whose CEO Carlos Figueroa was on hand to accept an award presented by OPIC Director of Public Affairs Dr. Larry Spinelli. Spinelli recognized the close ties between the two organizations and a mutual dedication to supporting U.S. small businesses investing in emerging markets around the world.

Since its establishment in 1971, OPIC commitments of $6.6 billion of financing and insurance to projects sponsored by California companies have supported over 40,000 U.S. jobs, generated $11.5 billion in U.S. exports and an estimated $2.8 billion in procurement of goods and services from the state.
For example, Sambazon, a small business from San Clemente, Calif., used $3.7 million in OPIC financing to construct an environmentally-sustainable, organic açai-berry processing facility in Brazil. This growth more than doubled the company’s U.S. employees while creating income for 10,000 family farmers in the Brazilian rainforest.

The 2015 schedule of Expanding Horizons Workshops includes events in Nashville and Boston in the fall.


OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. 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, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. 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.

All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC helps raise the industry and regional standards of the countries in which its projects operate. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.