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OPIC Workshop in Oakland Draws Small Businesses from 7 States

September 21, 2017

OPIC Offers Financing and Political Risk Insurance to Support American Businesses Looking to Expand into Emerging Economies Worldwide​​​​​​​


Oakland, CA – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) drew more than 150 small businesses and entrepreneurs from 7 states to its Expanding Horizons small business workshop in Oakland on Tuesday, September 19. Since 2006, this outreach program has held over 40 events throughout the United States and educated about 5,000 American small businesses on the resources available from OPIC to help them compete in the global marketplace.

OPIC is the primary federal agency helping small businesses gain footholds in emerging markets through investment. Businesses attending the Expanding Horizons seminars and workshops learn the details of OPIC’s financing and political risk insurance, and can have one-on-one meetings with OPIC staff.

Ryan Black, co-founder and CEO of OPIC partner Sambazon, delivered the keynote address and explained how his small business used an OPIC loan to build an environmentally-sustainable, organic açaí berry processing facility in Brazil when it was unable to obtain private financing. With OPIC support, Sambazon has been able to distribute açaí juice worldwide, create income for thousands of family farmers in the Brazilian rainforest, and more than double its U.S. employee base.

Other supporting organizations included Chamber of the Americas, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, World Trade Center Northern California, California Centers for International Trade Development, Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley, California Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, East Bay SCORE, U.S. India Business Council, and California-Asia Business Council.   

Since 1971, OPIC has helped U.S. businesses of all sizes expand in emerging markets, and the Agency is currently 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. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States. To date, OPIC has provided $7.7 billion in support to California businesses investing in emerging markets.


The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.