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EXIM Empowers Minority & Women-Owned Small Businesses (MWOBs)
June 11, 2015 Zuri Zhao and Kathy Yao, Small Business Division

INTRODUCTION

The Export-Import Bank (EXIM) recognizes the importance of diversity in business and values the impact it has on driving innovation and new ideas which contribute to a company’s success in the global marketplace. That’s why EXIM works closely with Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MWOBs) to help them export their products and services to international markets.

MWOBs can benefit from participating in EXIM’s wide array of programs that can equip them to jump-start or expand their foreign sales. EXIM offers a variety of trade financing solutions, including export credit insurance, working capital loan guarantees and our pilot Global Credit Express loan program. This support empowers exporters of American goods and services to overcome the challenges and uncertainties that often come with selling to foreign buyers and increase their sales and profit margins. 

THE OPPORTUNITIES

EXIM has a specialized team committed to advocating on behalf of MWOBs and their business needs. This team focuses on outreach and increasing awareness about the assistance and support we can provide to MWOBs. In fact, many small businesses like Collection 2000 Cosmetics have successfully entered the international marketplace using EXIM’s export credit insurance. 

We want other MWOBs like Collection 2000 Cosmetics to learn how we can help them expand their business through exporting. We have a full calendar of events, and our next MWOB Symposium will be in Arlington, VA on June 15, 2015. To RSVP, click here. We welcome all MWOBs to join and attend.

The MWOB Symposium will feature a number of engaging and informative talks from seasoned professionals in the export and trade finance fields that will cover a wide range of useful topics ranging from How to Find Foreign Buyers to How to Finance Your Exports Sales. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of experts and to hear the experiences of other like-minded businesses that have successfully used EXIM programs and services to reach foreign buyers in international markets.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How Does EXIM Bank Support Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MWOBs)?

A: EXIM empowers MWOBs by addressing their unique exporting needs, such as access to financing and risk mitigation. In addition to EXIM’s existing small business support (export credit insurance, working capital loan guarantees and buyer financing), the Global Credit Express (GCE) Pilot loan program offers a six- and 12-month revolving lines of credit of up to $500,000 to eligible small businesses.

Q: Are there any special programs designated for Minority and Women Owned Businesses?

A: We have a dedicated team of specialists at the Bank that assist MWOBs in order to ensure that they are competing on a level playing field with large businesses. They help MWOBs solve issues that may arise from application denials or undue burdens of due diligence. For example, when one MWOB applicant for a GCE loan was denied, the exporter contacted our MWOB department for assistance. After inquiring into the case, a specialist highlighted extra steps the applicant could to take in order to bolster her competitiveness to qualify for the GCE loan. The applicant then submitted the additional information, which resulted in the final approval of her case.     

Q: What are the main eligibility requirements to qualify for EXIM Support?

A: MWOBs meet basic eligibility requirements if they: (1) have been in business for at least a year; (2) have at least one person working in the firm full-time; (3) have a positive net worth; and (4) export products and/or services that have more than 50% U.S. content based on all direct and indirect costs (e.g. labor, materials, and administrative costs). To learn more about the full list of EXIM eligibility and regulations, download our Export Credit Insurance eBook.  

Q: What are some MWOB companies that EXIM has supported in the past

A: Many exporters are unaware of EXIM solutions specially tailored to empower small businesses. However, nearly 90 percent of our transactions support small business exporters. We support an extensive variety of export industries, ranging from fast-moving consumer goods like Jenny’s Pickles and Love & Quiche, to makers of baby care products like Cozy Cacoon, to custom computer programming service providers like Team Askin. 

Q: Is my business too small to qualify for EXIM support?

A: No deal is too small for EXIM. EXIM insures deals that range from a few hundred dollars to billions of dollars. For most policies, exporters only pay premiums on products that they ship, assuring that there are no lost premium dollars. For buyers of Multi-Buyer Insurance, there is also no minimum annual premium required. There are special policies for small businesses that offer up to 95 percent coverage against nonpayment by foreign buyers on short-term credit sales, with no deductible. 

Q: What are the next steps that I can take? Where do I go for more information?

A: The MWOB team sponsors a wide range of outreach events in communities, so they can reach MWOB exporters about the benefits of working with EXIM. Additionally, our MWOB team hosts a number of webinars to increase awareness of EXIM products and services. To reach one of the MWOB team specialists directly, you can call 800-565-3946 or visit us at http://exim.gov/.

LEARN MORE

To learn more about how EXIM can assist your business in expanding abroadand get started with more personalized one-on-one attention, request a consultation with an EXIM Trade Finance Specialist today!

Increase your foreign sales with EXIM!