Thanks in part to grants from the JPMorgan Chase and the Oregon Community Foundation, Greater Portland 2020 is creating an export initiative focused on helping small businesses, and in particular those led by women, minorities and veterans, find pathways to exporting. GPI is working with the region’s export and trade partners - like the SBDC’s Global Trade Center, US Commercial Service, Federal SBA and Business Oregon - to prepare entrepreneurs for exporting and international sales.

Fewer than 9 percent of businesses in the region are either minority or women-owned, and they tend to be very small—with annual revenues less than $5 million and employ less than 50 workers. Because 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside the U.S. and 79 percent of global GDP growth is projected to occur outside the U.S., one of the region’s best routes to widely-shared economic growth and prosperity is through global engagement and international exports. But reaching these new export markets isn’t easy, especially for small firms with limited resources. That’s why the Growing Small Businesses Globally program will offer resources and training to help them find new customers and grow their business.

The Greater Portland 2020 framework, of which this program is a part, builds on the strategies of People, Place, and Business. Its priorities are to recruit, develop and advance the region’s talent (People), improve infrastructure to meet the needs of people, business and innovation (Place), and grow business and pioneer innovation (Business). Click here to learn more.

Watch this space for more news about the Growing Small Businesses Globally program as it takes its next steps.