During National Veterans Small Business Week, EXIM joins with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to celebrate, connect, and empower aspiring and current service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouse entrepreneurs as they begin or expand their exporting journey.
During the week of November 1-5, SBA and its partner network – including EXIM and other federal agencies – celebrate the strength and resilience of the #VetBiz community by sharing information about resources available to support veteran entrepreneurs. In addition, SBA is hosting events across the country.
Veteran small business owners can find resources from the SBA, such as Boots to Business, or connect with a local Veterans Business Outreach Center to develop a business plan and receive marketing tips.
As veterans prepare to export their products, they also can find resources to get started from the U.S. Commercial Service’s VetsGoGlobal, a veteran-led initiative whose focus is to educate and inform U.S. veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and military spouse-owned businesses about the export process and international business opportunities.
Trade Finance Tools for Empowering Veterans
Once a veteran-owned company is ready to export its good and services worldwide, EXIM offers financial tools designed to help overcome barriers and grow the business. Trade finance tools, including export credit insurance and working capital guarantees, can help overcome initial barriers to exporting by mitigating the risk of buyer nonpayment or providing ways to access working capital cash flow.
To assist in this process, EXIM has a dedicated group of specialists in the Office of Minority and Women Owned Business (MWOB) who work with veteran-owned businesses to help them access EXIM financing. Veterans can find resources and contact specialists who can help provide the financing and confidence veterans need to take on new business abroad.
In addition, EXIM regularly holds events to explore ways veterans can grow their businesses through exporting, with speakers including:
- Keith King, Founder and CEO of the National Veteran Business Development Council.
- Antoine Broughton, Director of the Direct Access Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affiars.
- Melissa A. Washington, Founder and CEO of the Women Veterans Alliance.
Veteran-Owned Business Shows Double-Digit Growth with EXIM Support
Jeco Plastics Products is a global leader in the development and production of custom and durable plastic pallets. With domestic markets shrinking, CEO Craig Carson, an Army veteran with decades of business experience, knew that exporting was crucial to ensuring growth for the Illinois-based small business.
Beginning in 1998, Jeco turned to EXIM’s export credit insurance to protect the company’s foreign receivables from nonpayment by international buyers. That allowed the company to offer open account credit terms to its customers, which paved the way for increased sales.
“Our export business at Jeco Plastic Products has shown double-digit annual growth in recent years,” explained Carson, “in part because we were able to offer open account payment terms and still eliminate the risk of nonpayment by overseas customers.”
To find out how EXIM can help veteran-owned businesses confidently compete and export in the global marketplace – schedule a free consultation with an EXIM trade finance specialist.