STEP Export Assistance for Small Business
The STEP program provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying Minnesota small businesses with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets.
Participants may be first-time exporters or companies that are currently exporting but are interested in expanding into new international markets.
Financial Assistance Available
Small businesses may apply for reimbursement of up to $500 for export-training that will result in the development of an export strategy or up to $7,500 for approved export-development activities, including:
- Participation in trade missions
- Exhibiting at trade shows or industry-specific events
- Translation of marketing materials
- Development of foreign language websites
- Gold Key or other business matchmaking services
- Company-specific international sales activities
- Testing and certification (such as CE marking) required to sell products in foreign markets
Eligible companies must fit the SBA definition of a small business, based on annual sales or number of employees, and:
- Have been in operation for at least one year
- Be operating profitably, based on U.S. operations
- Have an understanding of the costs associated with exporting
- Have a strategic plan for exporting (unless applying for an export-planning grant)
Activities must be pre-approved in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Companies MAY NOT APPLY for reimbursement for activities that have already taken place.
Eligible companies must also have products or services that are appropriate for the target market; must agree to participate in surveys and provide information on program outcomes.
How to Apply
Read this Request for Proposals for full details and application materials.
For More Information
Contact Connie Ireland at 651-259-7036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The STEP program is funded in part through a grant award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.