The Global Trade Activator Program is a four- to six-month training program that small business entrepreneurs develop and implement their global trading strategy. You will learn how to export your products to new markets and/or source international products to more competitively sell in the United States.
After completing the program, you will be able to apply for an international trade grant up to $4,500 and may apply for a Certificate of International Trade at an additional cost, accredited by the World Trade Center Denver.
The Minority Business Office will be providing scholarships to minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses participating in this program so they will only pay a discounted rate of $1,000 to participate in the program.
The program consists of:
- assessment: review your current international trade position and strategy
- placement: match with programming and customized training
- training: access to webinars, classes, and workshops based on need; take three months of international business courses
- mentorship: meet weekly with a trade coach
- plan development: incorporate a trade plan into your overall business strategy
- access to trade talent: receive access to World Trade Center Denver network of Certificate of International Trade graduates
- access to funding: compete for a grant to fund international business
The program is formed in partnership with the World Trade Center Denver, the Minority Business Office of Colorado, and the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network.
Businesses across all industries are encouraged to apply. Eligible businesses must:
- be in operation for at least 12 months
- have a minimum of $100,000 dollars in sales (preferably $500,000 annual sales)
- have fewer than 100 employees globally
- have headquarters in Colorado (or at least 50% of employees based in Colorado)
- be registered and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State
- have 51% minority-, veteran- or women-ownership (and that owner has primary responsibility for managing day-to-day operations)
- have a strong understanding of its value proposition to assess international demand of product or service
- have an overall business plan/strategy (or are willing to develop it prior to entering the program)
- have an ability to commit to attending weekly virtual meetings throughout the program
- have a willingness to share baseline data and financials, six-month review and one-year results of increased sales, jobs, investments
- have two employees of the company actively participate
- have not been a past participant of the Leading Edge for International Opportunities program
- have buy-in from an executive manager or CEO
Senior leadership buy-in is important because products may need to be modified and manufacturing processes may need to change. There are also additional risks to the company that you may learn as you go through the program.
Applications are open until January 25. You are able to apply online by filling out basic information as well as answering short essay questions.
You will need to provide basic information about your business and the participants. The following questions will be included in the application. We recommend writing down your answers prior to starting the application, as you will not be able to save your progress.
- Please explain your company's experience with international trade.
- What makes you want to start or expand into international business now?
- How soon would you like to begin trading products or services?
- Have you received inquires requesting your product or service from abroad? Please explain. If importing, have you identified a market for the supplies or service?
- What markets are you interested in? Please explain.
- What are you doing today to reach international markets?
- What are you hoping to accomplish through this program?
- What are your goals related to:
- increase sales by
- increase market share by
- grow number of employees by
- enhance supply chain by
- What interests you most about this program?
- How did you hear about this program?
You will be notified whether you have been admitted. No more than 10 businesses will be accepted into this program.
The program will begin February 1, 2021. Participants must complete the program by June 30, 2021 to be eligible for the grant. Upon completion, participants will have to present to a review panel and have a plan in place for their business.