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.

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.



Elements of a Foreign Market Entry Strategy

This program is designed to provide practical tips for penetrating new foreign markets and replicating sales. The focus is on second stage companies particularly those who have a service or product with an economic development component to it such as emergency preparedness, a wide range of IT, as well as security and defense firms poised to branch out into the international market.

For more information, click here.

Elements of an Export Marketing Plan

This two-day program, “Elements of an Export Marketing Plan,” is designed for companies that are new-to-export or have been reactive in their approach to international markets. During the first session,  attendees will learn about: practical tips for penetrating new foreign markets and replicating sales; when and how to use a freight forwarder or an expeditor; specialized content for service exporters; legal pitfalls for exporters; and how to offer open account terms and get paid.

At the second session, companies will work intermittently with export promotion partners to build and review their export plan. Select attendees will have the opportunity to present their export plan to a panel of experienced international trade professionals.

For more information, click here.


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