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OPIC Expanding Horizons workshop in Atlanta draws small businesses from 15 states


May 3, 2016

Atlanta, GA – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew more than 140 small businesses and entrepreneurs to the 10thAnniversary of the Expanding Horizons small business workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, today.

The event is the 28th in a decade-long nationwide series OPIC hosts to educate small businesses about the opportunities of expanding into developing markets, and the ways OPIC can support this growth.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Expanding Horizons workshops,” said Judith Pryor, OPIC Vice President, Office of External Affairs. “American small businesses have an important role to play in the global economy, but face challenges as they look to play that role.  Expanding Horizons continues to be such a powerful tool for reaching those small businesses and explaining the programs and resources that OPIC has to help them participate in emerging markets.”

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, congratulated OPIC and commended the workshop as “one that provides small businesses with the resources they need to compete in the global market.”

Ed Quibell, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Habitat for Humanity International spoke to the attendees about MicroBuild, which was created in 2012 to support microfinance lending to help thousands of families in developing countries purchase or improve homes.

OPIC has provided financing to support MicroBuild's efforts that have helped tens of thousands of families receive home loans for construction and home improvement in 19 countries from Azerbaijan to Colombia. Additional OPIC financing is expected to help MicroBuild expand its portfolio in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa and reach tens of thousands additional families.

OPIC speakers outlined the innovative financing and political risk insurance products that the agency has provided for more than four decades to help U.S. businesses successfully invest in emerging markets. Other speakers at the workshop included the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

Since 1971, OPIC has helped U.S. businesses of all sizes expand in emerging markets, and is open for business in more than 160 countries. OPIC has supported nearly $200 billion of investments and operates on a self-sustaining basis at no cost to American taxpayers. To date, OPIC has provided $1.1 billion in support to Georgia businesses investing in emerging markets ranging from agriculture to energy to infrastructure.

The next Expanding Horizons Workshop for 2016 is Jun. 16 in Houston. Details and registration are available at www.opicevents.com.

 

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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 aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.