OPIC Workshop for Charleston Area Draws 75 Small Businesses

Tue May 7, 2013 9:25pm EDT

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OPIC Workshop for Charleston Area Draws 75 Small Businesses

A workshop in Charleston for small businesses organized by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, drew over 75 small business owners from 11 states today, educating participants about how OPIC products can help them take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities in emerging markets.

The Expanding Horizons workshop, held at the Charleston Marriott, was the latest in a highly successful series that has educated more than 2,100 small and medium-sized business owners across the United States about OPIC products and services.

“The Charleston Expanding Horizons conference equips Southeastern small businesses with the information and resources they need to make the most of the many investment opportunities that exist in emerging markets,” said OPIC Director of Public Affairs Dr. Larry Spinelli. “In the process, these companies will support the region’s economic growth by making emerging markets better markets for Southeastern goods and services,” Dr. Spinelli added.

Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Augusta David Mullings offered keynote remarks at the conference while OPIC speakers outlined the innovative financial tools – among them financing and political risk insurance – that the agency has used for 40 years to help U.S. businesses successfully invest in emerging markets. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham prepared taped welcoming remarks for participants at the conference.

Other speakers included senior officials from the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, including the U.S. Commercial Service and the Minority Business Development Agency, as well as the Export-Import Bank.

Organizations supporting the conference included the South Carolina Women's Business Center, the City of Charleston’s Office of Business Development, the Small Business Development Center, the Charleston Local Development Corporation, the City of Charleston’s Minority Business Enterprise, the Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance, the Moore School of Business, the Greater Charleston Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center, the College of Charleston's Global Business Resource Center, and the Charleston U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Since its establishment in 1971, OPIC has supported an estimated 473 jobs in South Carolina and an estimated $304.7 million in procurement of goods and services from the state, the majority of which are supplied by small businesses. Neighboring states have also benefited. OPIC-supported projects in North Carolina have supported an estimated 2,819 jobs in the state, along with an estimated $171.5 million in procurement of local goods and services. And in Georgia, OPIC projects have supported an estimated 2,068 jobs and procurement of $192 million of local goods and services.

Since 2006, OPIC has held Expanding Horizons events in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, St. Louis, Denver, Philadelphia, Orange (CA), Raleigh, New Orleans, New York City and Seattle.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.

Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Amanda Burke, 202-312-2186