Going Global Starts at Home

The Virginia SBDC offers one-on-one counseling and an array of training programs for Virginia based firms with a global presence and vision. Taking your business global is a huge undertaking. Make sure you’ve done your homework and invested the necessary time upfront to avoid costly mistakes. The Virginia SBDC, along with our many partners in the public and private sector, are available to help you seize the immense opportunities that exist for American companies committed to international markets.

Below are upcoming SBDC events and partner program events.

Sales Strategies for Scalable and Sustainable International Growth

This program is designed to provide practical tips for established businesses to penetrate new foreign markets and replicate sales. Many companies get into international business almost by accident. However, serendipity is not scalable. Do you know how you got that first international sale? Are you able to replicate it? What key terms should you include in an RFP to protect yourself or win the contract?

This half-day program is geared towards helping you answer those questions so you can create a go-to-market model that is scalable and sustainable. Join the Virginia SBDC, the U.S. Commercial Service, and our private sector experts Scott Blacklin and Ross Ensor on May 8th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All potential attendees are required to contact Aaron Scott Miller at amille2@gmu.edu or 703-277-7715 in order to ascertain your eligibility for this program. Click here for more details.

Please note that this program is for established firms. Your inclusion in this program is made at the sole discretion of the Virginia SBDC. If you are not eligible for this program, the SBDC and our partners offer other training programs for companies at all levels.

The program will be held in Fairfax at:

Mason Enterprise Center
4031 University Drive Suite 100
Fairfax, VA  22030

How to Register

1. Fill out the application which includes several questions to help us better understand your company and your international goals

2. Schedule a 15 minute phone interview at least one week prior to the beginning of the program

You can reach Aaron Miller at amille2@gmu.edu or 703-277-7715.

NOTE: These programs are designed for established firms with the means to expand globally. They are not intended for startups. If you are not eligible for these specific programs, the Virginia SBDC offers other appropriate training, such as Export University (see below) to help you move forward with your business.

Greater Richmond Partnership Export Kick-off Event

Please join the Greater Richmond Partnership along with Virginia’s Export Promotion partners for this exciting daylong program on June 12th to help companies at all levels break into new foreign markets. Click here for more details.


Passport to Global Markets

Are you looking to export to Brazil or Middle East? This spring, the Virginia SBDC will be conducting two separate customized programs: Passport Brazil and Passport Middle East.

The Virginia SBDC signature export program is geared towards well-established firms with the means and commitment to break into or expand in Brazil or the Middle East over the next 3-to-18 months.

Passport is primarily taught by private sector business experts with intermittent counseling conducted by the Virginia SBDC and U.S. Commercial Service. The program culminates with participants presenting their market entry strategy to a panel of experts and program peers. To learn more, watch our video.



Export University

Export University is a tremendous forum to learn the fundamentals of international trade and business. This full day of content will cover pertinent topics such as:

  • Finding and vetting an overseas partner
  • Getting paid
  • Identifying legal issues and traps for the unwary
  • Shipping and logistics considerations
  • Many more

The next Export University will be held:

June 26th, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lord Fairfax Community College, Middletown VA


All interested in international business are encouraged to attend an Export University. Export University is an initiative of the Virginia/DC District Export Council (DEC) in collaboration with Virginia SBDC. The DEC is a volunteer, not-for-profit organization comprised of international trade and business experts appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.


The SBA Export Planner is a great tool for new-to-export and existing exporters alike. It walks you through the process of becoming export ready and provides a framework for your international expansion.

The Basic Guide to Exporting is another great resource for new-to-export firms.

Spend some time doing research on markets and industries at http://www.export.gov/

Here is an excellent business planning checklist provided by local attorney Tom McVey:


Aaron Miller is the sole international trade specialist for the Commonwealth at the Virginia Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Network. He can be reached at amille2@gmu.edu or 703-277-7715.

The Virginia SBDC Network is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and George Mason University-Mason Enterprise Center.

In order to effectively serve a diverse clientele, the Virginia SBDC International works closely with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, and the Virginia Washington DC District Export Council (DEC), and other partners at the federal, state, and local levels.

US Commercial Service
District Export Council

US Small Business Development CentersGeorge Mason Enterprise Center