MSU Partners with US Commerce Dept to Increase Exports for Michigan Businesses

MSU Partners with US Commerce Dept to Increase Exports for Michigan Businesses
April 6, 2011/Capital Gains

By Natalie Burg  

For small to medium sized businesses, the idea of international exporting never makes it beyond the idea stage. It can be prohibitively expensive to even determine if a overseas market exists, let alone the cost of then making it happen.

Thanks to a partnership between the MSU International Business Center and the US Department of Commerce, that process is about to become easier and more affordable for Michigan businesses.

“There are all kinds of trade-offs that companies have to make,” says Tomas Hult, Director of the MSU IBC, “and we want to help them get rid of some of those trade-offs.”

The IBC will offer pro bono market research and analysis for companies who believe they could export internationally. If the center finds a promising market, the U.S. Commercial Service will provide free networking and support.

“It’s a nice partnership,” says Hult. “We think we provide a nice synergy in what we do.”

A pilot version of the program began more than a year ago when the Ford Motor Company Foundation awarded the IBC a $50,000 grant. In 15 months the program, which is staffed in part by five to seven dedicated student employees and up to 30 student employees depending upon need, has helped more then 40 companies.

“Our mission is to help us companies become more competitive internationally,” he says. The current program, which went into effect in March, is funded by a variety of federal government, university and grant sources.

Source:Tomas Hult, MSU International Business Center