“I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment to hundreds of women of my race.” - Madam C.J. Walker
One of the most well-known early African American entrepreneurial success stories in the United States is that of Madam C.J. Walker. Madam Walker built a successful and diversified enterprise that sold hair care and beauty products for African American women and employed local minority and women staff both domestically and internationally. Ms. Walker relied on her sharp business sense as well as key personal contacts to build her network and sell her products across the United States, and abroad to the Caribbean and South America.
Today’s minority and woman-owned businesses have an additional resource at their disposal – the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Minority and Woman-Owned Business team. The team stands ready to educate and support small businesses by facilitating webinars, providing virtual training, and hosting outreach events pertaining to global competitiveness and international trade. The team can also provide information about EXIM trade finance products that reduce some of the risks associated with exporting and provide access to working capital to improve a company’s cash flow.
On February 16, 2021, EXIM partnered with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to explore export opportunities to Africa. A recording of the webinar, Grow your Business with Export Opportunities in Africa, is available. This webinar was a result of several joint symposiums and virtual events that MWOB and MBDA cultivated over the last several years, including a trade mission to West Africa in December 2019 with 10 African American -owned businesses who were afforded the opportunity to travel to Senegal to meet with local companies and governments interested in their products.
With two thirds of the world’s buying power outside of the United States, one the biggest fears business owners have about exporting is not getting paid by foreign buyers. EXIM's most popular product for U.S.-based small businesses is low cost, short-term trade credit insurance, also known as export credit insurance.
EXIM’s Export Credit Insurance is an insurance policy that protects the U.S. company’s foreign accounts receivable generated by offering open account credit terms to international customers. Policies cover up to 95 percent reimbursement of the sales invoice value and can be applied to the entire export portfolio, select companies within a portfolio, or a single buyer.
With EXIM's Export Credit Insurance, your company can:
- Offer open account credit terms for 30, 60, or up to 180 days.
- Protect against nonpayment from foreign buyer due to commercial (e.g., bankruptcy) or political (e.g., insurgency) risks.
- Obtain working capital through a commercial lender.
In order to qualify for the Export Credit Insurance, your small business must:
- Be in business for at least three years with a positive net worth.
- Have a D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet.
- Qualify with less than $10 million of annual average export sales.
You’ve already given your business a start. Now consider making EXIM staff part of your circle of experts that can help build your distribution network and expand the international sales of your products and services. Request a free consultation from EXIM or get in touch with one of our Minority and Woman-Owned Business specialists and start your export journey today.