“The Dalai Lama said, ‘Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.’ The encouragement and support from MBO to my team will enable Gyan-i to deliver grant management technology in India. No doubt, we will start with a subset of large foundations in India, but the ripple effect of this effort will cascade to remote parts of that nation—opening doors for grantees that have remained closed in the past, thanks to this program. Thank you, MBO!
LEADING EDGE for International Opportunities is a financial assistance program administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The program is funded by the Minority Business Office in partnership with the Colorado Small Business Development Center, the Rocky Mountain World Trade Center Institute, and the Office of International Trade at OEDIT. The grant and training provide an educational pathway and equip small and medium-sized minority and women-owned Colorado businesses to develop a strategic plan for export markets.
Participants are required to attend the LEADING EDGE for International Opportunities class curriculum. The forty-eight hour curriculum provides practical training for small businesses on all aspects of international trade. In addition, businesses must complete a minimum of five hours of consulting with their local SBDC. Businesses that complete the course will receive an International Trade Certificate from the World Trade Center of Denver (WTC) as well as WTC annual membership and attendance to the WTC Annual Meeting. The Colorado SBDC Network generously covers the cost of the 48-hour training, annual membership and attendance to the two main WTC events, valued at approximately $1,400/participant.
A mid-year progress report and a final report will need to be filed with the Minority Business Office through the grant cycle.
- Company employs less than 100 employees globally
- Company is headquartered in Colorado or at least 50% of its employees are based in Colorado
- Company is registered and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State
- Company ownership is 51% minority, veteran or women-owned, who have primary responsibility for managing day-to-day operations
- Business has been operating for at least 12 months
Grants will be awarded up to $10,000 per business to cover costs associated with export projects, activities, or services undertaken during the grant period. Each grant recipient will receive the amount determined by OEDIT. Proof of expenditures will be required to be submitted (i.e. proof of payment, receipts, and bank/credit card statements).
Grant proceeds may be used for specific international business development and marketing projects, activities or services. These costs may include, but are not limited to:
- Client development activities
- Roundtrip, economy-class airfare to a foreign market for up to three individuals as necessary and as warranted by the anticipated economic benefit of the trip
- Roundtrip, economy-class airfare for a foreign company to come to Colorado to further develop an already existing business relationship with a local Colorado company. Roundtrip airfare will be provided for up to two individuals from the foreign company as necessary and as warranted by the anticipated economic benefit of the trip.
- Lodging for up to seven nights for up to three representatives of the participant in the foreign market or their potential buyer/partner in Colorado. Funds will cover standard-room charges and cannot cover suites or similar lodging expenses.
- Foreign trade show exhibition and conference participation costs
OEDIT and/or U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) sponsored trade missions
- Foreign business-to-business matchmaking services, including the use of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Key service
- Targeted advertising in overseas industry trade publications