PORTLAND, Ore. – Greater Portland Inc (GPI) is excited to announce its fourth round of Growing Small Businesses Globally export assistance scholarships for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business to international markets. GPI invites small business owners in the Greater Portland region – particularly women, people of color and veterans – to apply for one of the 12 scholarships. Each scholarship provides access to valuable training sessions, as well as a stipend for internationally focused sales travel.
Since the program’s inception in 2018, GPI has awarded 38 scholarships to local entrepreneurs.
“Connecting small business owners with resources is key in a comprehensive approach to economic development,” said Matt Miller, GPI’s interim president and CEO. “We’re proud to help entrepreneurs access international markets.
"It helps them grow their businesses and helps grow our regional economy.”
Exporting offers small business owners a wealth of opportunities: According to the U.S. Commercial Service, more than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the United States. What’s more, on average, sales grow faster, more jobs are created and employees earn more than at non-exporting firms.
Exporting for the first time can present significant logistical, legal and financial hurdles. The Growing Small Businesses Globally program taps local industry experts to guide participants through the process. Training sessions are provided by GPI export partners at Business Oregon, the Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Commercial Service. The sessions tackle the intricacies of export finance, designing a foreign market strategy and more.
Previous scholarship recipients include:
“Participating in the Growing Small Businesses Globally program was an incredibly helpful resource for Red Duck in 2019,” said Hilbert of Red Duck Foods. “Not only was I able to interact with and share best practices other similarly situated exporting companies here in the Portland region, but the grant funded a trip to Vancouver, B.C. in anticipation of a huge sales promotion for us. Without it, we wouldn’t have been as successful in Canada as we were last year.”
Last year, the Growing Small Businesses Globally scholarship program received the Program Excellence Award from the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators.
Scholarships are funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
“Foreign trade presents a powerful opportunity for small businesses to grow beyond their communities,” said JPMorgan Chase Oregon Region Manager, Michael Hurley. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to partner with Greater Portland Inc and commends their work to prepare entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities to be successful on an international scale. The skills taught in this program can be passed down generations and throughout communities to strengthen inclusive economic growth. When this happens, small businesses succeed, allowing communities to thrive.”
Growing Small Businesses Globally scholarship applications are available at greaterportland2020.com/export. Applications are due Friday, Feb. 28. Application questions can be directed to Amy Jauron, GPI’s vice president of business development, at (971) 261-7090 or at [email protected].