“As a result of being accepted into the Export Grant program, SEGRITY LLC was awarded the first project in South America $10,000 and is now working on business opportunities in Australia, Canada and South America. With the help of this grant, we are working on increasing our international market to 20 percent in the next couple of years. The contacts provided by the MBO, along with the education and consulting assistance from the World Trade Center and SBDC were top notch! We’re also pround to say that our CEO and VP of Engineering received the Certificate of International Trade in May 2019. Plus, SEGRITY was one of the five finalists of the Denver SBDc’s Trout Tank Pitch Event in June 2019.
We couldn’t be more proud of the results we are getting out of this grant program and are grateful we were chosen as a recipient.”
Veronica N. Ferro, PMP
The LEADING EDGE for International Opportunities program is a grant and training opportunity which provides an educational pathway to equip minority-owned businesses with the tools and knowledge needed to develop a strategic plan to begin exporting.
The program includes:
- 48 hours of virtual training, based on the statewide LEADING EDGE curriculum
- 5+ hours of one-on-one, virtual consulting
- The opportunity to receive an export grant, awarded up to $10,000
The program is administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and 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 program runs August 2020-June 2021.
Participants are required to complete the LEADING EDGE for International Opportunities class curriculum. The curriculum provides 48 hours of virtual, practical training for small businesses on all aspects of international trade. In addition, businesses must complete a minimum of five hours of no-cost consulting with their local SBDC.
Businesses that complete the program will receive an International Trade Certificate from the World Trade Center of Denver (WTC) as well as a free WTC annual membership and attendance to the WTC Annual Meeting and World Trade Day. 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 more than $1,500/participant.
Participants have through April 2021 to complete the online curriculum and consulting. In May, participants will virtually present their updated export strategy to a panel of OEDIT and WTC Denver staff, which will determine the amount of their grant award. The virtual presentation will be 15 minutes, including a five-minute Q&A session.
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 the panel and is dependent upon program completion. Funds will be disbursed by the end of June 2021.
Proof of expenditures will be required to be submitted (i.e. proof of payment, receipts, and bank/credit card statements); a mid-year progress report and a final report will need to be filed with the Minority Business Office through the grant cycle.
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
- 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
- Company may not be a previous participant of the LEADING EDGE for International Opportunities program
Applications must be completed online using the OEDIT portal. Click the button below to apply. It will take approximately one hour to apply; you will be able to save your progress. You will need to provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State as well as company financial documents and/or projections.
The second round of applications are now open and are due August 17 by 4 pm. Your application will be reviewed by OEDIT staff, and you will be notified of your application’s status by August 21. A maximum of 10 businesses will be accepted into the program.
Clicking the button above will take you off of the MBO website to the OEDIT portal. Log in or create a new account and search for “Minority Business Info” to locate the application.