There are a number of excellent state and local agencies in Minnesota that can help you develop export business.
The Minnesota Trade Office
The MN Trade Office (MTO) is part of the State of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and supports MN companies by providing the training and expertise that small and midsized companies need to export goods and services successfully worldwide. They also support the State’s efforts to attact Foreign Direct Investment, as well as serve as the State’s Protocol Office for foreign visitors. They offer comprehensive trainings, seminars and workshops, develop trade missions, counsel companies and manage the STEP Grant, a state- and federally-funded grant program for small business exporters. They also publish a directory of international business service providers that support exporting efforts.
Greater MSP is the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership organization whose mission is to accelerate job growth and capital investment in the16-county metro region. Through their Export Development program, Greater MSP helps companies in the metro region to launch or expand sales into overseas markets. They provide export counseling, and facilitate relationships with other service providers, industry groups and overseas organizations. For more information contact Jennifer.Erickson@greatermsp.org, Export Development Manager.
Midwest Global Trade Association
The Midwest Global Trade Association is an organization of international business professionals that provides education, current information, and support to enhance the international business opportunities of its members and the community. To learn more about their educational programs and network, click here.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
The MDA helps companies and individuals here export raw and processed ag products. We provided needed certificates and paperwork, and help companies expand their reach through business and trade development.
Minnesota is the 4th Largest Agricultural Exporting State in the Nation. It’s agricultural exports bring in $7.1 billion a year, and account for more than a third of the state’s total exports. Top export commodities include soybeans, corn, feed grains and processed feed, and pork.
Minnesota’s primary export markets are China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, South Korea, and Taiwan. However, emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Colombia are beginning to gain importance for food and agricultural exporters. To learn more about MDA programs and network, click here.
Minnesota Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The Minnesota SBDC is part of a nationwide network of centers helping small business develop and succeed. In Minnesota, they are part of the state’s Department of Employment snf Economic Development (DEED), which also houses the Minnesota Trade Office. As such, they can assist with many international business issues, which are shared with other non-exporting companies, including:
- Access to Capital and Loan Packaging
- Financial Analysis and Assessment
- Accounting Systems and Literacy
- Marketing and Research
- Marketing Plan Development
- Feasibility Analysis
- Startup Assistance
- Business Plan Development
- Electronic Commerce/Web site Development
- Succession and Strategic Planning