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Press Release

GPI launches export scholarship for women, people of color and veterans

July 03,2018 | By Anna Marum

July 3, 2018
Media Contact:
Anna Marum
Greater Portland Inc
Greater Portland Inc launches second Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative
10 export assistance scholarships are available for local entrepreneurs
PORTLAND, OR – Greater Portland Inc is excited to announce its second round of Growing Small Businesses Globally export assistance scholarships for entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business to international markets.

The 10 scholarships, primarily for women, people of color and veterans, include a travel and training stipend for six export assistance programs. Scholarships are funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation.

“By connecting small business owners with experts on global trade, this scholarship enables entrepreneurs to create a roadmap for expanding their business internationally,” said Janet LaBar, Greater Portland Inc’s president and CEO. “It is particularly important to us that the region’s diverse entrepreneurs gain access to this network of support as they grow their companies.”

Summer Abbott, founder of Oregon Kombucha and a recipient from the first round of scholarships, said the program gave her the technical and practical advice she needed to get her international business off the ground.

“The advisors make sure you really know what you’re doing,” she said. “Working with them made my international expansion strategy so much stronger.”

Exchange rates, customs regulations and laws governing international trade can make exporting seem daunting. One misstep can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars. But companies that don’t expand their sales internationally are missing out bigtime, warned Lloyd Purdy, GPI’s Vice President of Regional Competitiveness.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside U.S.,” he said. “International sales is a very smart growth approach for small businesses. If you’re only doing domestic sales, you’re missing a large part of the consumer market.”

Recipients of the Growing Small Businesses Globally scholarship have access to six export assistance programs:
  • A 30-hour global trade management course from the Small Business Development Center
  • A 2-hour global trade refresher from the U.S. Commercial Service
  • A 1-hour export readiness assessment with the Small Business Development Center
  • A 2-hour export finance consultation with the Small Business Administration
  • An industry-specific advising session with Business Oregon
  • A 3-hour consultation on foreign market strategy with the U.S. Commercial Service
“Going global can be a tremendous challenge for companies and a first step should be making productive use of local resources,” said Scott Goddin, Portland director of the U.S. Commercial Service. “City, state and federal partners exist that can support you in all facets of international business planning and execution. The global network of the U.S. Commercial Service can help you identify top markets, key trade events and the right partner to execute your market entry strategy.”

Alexa Byers, global trade specialist at Business Oregon, said the state’s consulting services, drawing on many collective years of experience, have resonated with firms new to exporting. Business Oregon also offers grants and an Export Promotion Program that helps companies exhibit their products at international trade shows.

“Exporting helps Oregon’s economy by helping fuel high-wage jobs,” she said. “Companies like Nike, Keen, Bob’s Red Mill and Flir Systems are known around the world, and they pave the way for smaller companies.”

The Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative is part of the Greater Portland 2020 framework, a 5-year action plan to align business, education and civic leaders around regional economic priorities.

Growing Small Businesses Globally scholarship applications are available at greaterportland2020.com/export. Applications are due August 1, 2018. Interested entrepreneurs can contact GPI’s Vice President of Regional Competitiveness, Lloyd Purdy, at 971-339-2011 for details.
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About Greater Portland Inc: Greater Portland Inc provides support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, a region that spans two states and seven counties. A true public-private partnership model, Greater Portland Inc is supported by more than 70 public-sector partners and private investors who are committed to advancing regional economic development through job growth and investment. Greater Portland Inc and partners shape the region’s economic future and marketing the region to the world. Learn more at greaterportlandinc.com.

About JPMorgan Chase: Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America's households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: 5,200 branches, 16,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to Chase.com.

About the Oregon Community Foundation: The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. We work with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds — more than 2,000 of them — that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon. Through these funds, OCF awarded more than $108 million in grants and scholarships in 2016. Learn more at oregoncf.org.

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