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Supporting Minority, Women and Veteran-Owned Businesses Nationwide
October 19, 2017 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business

EXIM Bank’s mission is to support American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services, and one team within the Bank is dedicated to helping minority, women and veteran-owned (MWOB) small businesses grow through exporting.

In order to reach small business owners, the EXIM MWOB team collaborates with trade associations and other federal agencies that have a minority trade focus to help inform audiences about EXIM financing and create opportunities for export-ready businesses. Working together, EXIM and our colleagues hold a series of education sessions including:

  • Co-hosted events with the U.S. Commercial Service and the Small Business Administration
  • Webinars and on-site training pertaining to international trade, trade finance, global competitiveness and U.S. exports for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses
  • Success stories, case studies and blogs featuring MWOB’s

EXIM’s commitment to supporting minority, women and veteran-owned businesses can be demonstrated through the experiences of two companies whose revenues have grown through international sales.

Craig Carson, CEO and veteran owner of Jeco Plastics in Plainfield, Indiana, worked closely with EXIM Bank to utilize two EXIM products: Export Credit Insurance, which protects U.S. exporters from nonpayment on receivables generated by international orders, and a Working Capital Loan Guarantee, which provides cash for building export-related inventory.

"Our export business at Jeco Plastic Products has shown double-digit annual growth in recent years, in part because we were able to offer open account payment terms and still eliminate the risk of nonpayment by overseas customers.  The security provided by EXIM Bank guarantees also allows Jeco to finance working capital on very favourable terms.  As a smaller company, Jeco values greatly the assistance of the US Export-Import Bank, and we are proud of the effect our export success has upon our employees and the community."

Debbie Askin, Founder and CEO of Virginia-based Team Askin Technologies, Inc. (TATI), a certified woman-owned small business that provides software and consulting services including regulatory information management systems and aviation regulatory expertise also leverages EXIM products to grow her business.

In 2009, TATI bid on a multi-million dollar contract for an international customer. While this was a welcome opportunity, TATI was required to post a 10 percent performance bond to participate in the bidding process, which would put a strain on cash flow. Working with EXIM and its commercial lender, TATI obtained a working capital lender loan guarantee that empowered it to submit a proposal, and ultimately win the business.

“The working capital allowed us to post the bond required by our contract. Most small businesses don’t have that amount of disposable working capital. Thanks to the loan guarantee provided by EXIM Bank, we were able to obtain the funds to meeting this important contract and increase our exports tenfold,” said Ms. Askin.

Want to learn more about EXIM Bank resources for small businesses? Download the Guide to Export Credit Insurance and call your local EXIM representative today!

Get a Free Export Finance Consultation Today!