New effort to connect NC small businesses to global economy – Business North Carolina


North Carolina is already a major player in exporting goods around the world, and a new initiative launches next week to help small businesses access global markets.

The North Carolina Minority Business Development Association and small business CyberAlliance will launch the North Carolina Export Initiative on Wednesday.

RTI International (Research Triangle Institute) will kick things off with a launch event at its Research Triangle Park headquarters, including offering programs on trade strategy and cybersecurity that improve export readiness.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at 3040 E. Cornwallis Road, Durham. To register click on this link.

Here’s some quick facts about North Carolina and exports from the U.S. Treasury: 

  • In 2023, North Carolina exported a record $42.2 billion of goods to the world.
  • In 2021, exports from North Carolina supported an estimated 128,000 jobs.
  • North Carolina was the 14th-largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, North Carolina goods exports were $42.2 billion, an increase of 44% ($13 billion) from its export level in 2013.
  • In 2023, North Carolina exported $40 billion of manufactured products.
  • North Carolina exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 116,000 jobs in 2021. 
  • Goods exports accounted for 5.5% of North Carolina GDP in 2023.

The export initiative aims to ensure small businesses are aware of federal and state programs to help them develop trade strategies.

“The multiplier effect of exports benefits the entire supply chain and related industries, driving investment and infrastructure development,” said Angela Sellars, director of the N.C. Minority Business Development Association.

Speakers for Wednesday’s event include North Carolina Congresswomen Valerie Foushee and Deborah Ross and Durham Mayor Leonardo Williams.


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