International Trade Center helps firms succeed

The MU International Trade Center (ITC) is a partnership of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program, Missouri Small Business Technology & Development Centers and the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business. The goal of the ITC is to promote economic development and aid in the international decision-making of Missouri businesses, while providing University of Missouri students, tomorrow’s business leaders, good opportunities for experiential learning.

shipping crates on a shipWith its partners, the ITC serves as a central source for high quality global trade research, analysis, education and training. The ITC works with new and existing exporters to:

  • Assist with export strategy development and planning
  • Research potential export markets and assist in assessing foreign market opportunities
  • Secure actionable data to make informed and timely market entry or expansion decisions
  • Connect clientele to additional resources and expertise in export finance, shipping, documentation and compliance
  • Educate them in the intricacies of international trade

The ITC has a number of introductory and intermediate-level export training modules available to meet the needs of new-to-export and new-to-market exporters, on topics that include:

  • Why export?
  • Where’s your export market?
  • Profiles of successful exporters
  • Making an export sale from quote to payment
  • The ABCs of export documentation and compliance
  • Moving products internationally
  • International trade loan and finance programs
  • Certified Global Business Professional credential prep training

The ITC also provides counseling to export clientele across the state. Counselors help clients determine export feasibility; evaluate potential markets; determine appropriate market entry strategies; identify documentation and compliance requirements; evaluate pricing, shipping and payment options; and provide qualified referrals to additional expertise. The resulting long-term relationships position the ITC and its partners as trusted sources for export assistance.

ITC clientele also have access to customized research and analysis to guide strategy and decision-making. Timely identification of opportunity-rich markets leads to increased job creation, entrepreneurship and economic growth for the businesses, local community and state of Missouri. The ITC utilizes a mix of public access and subscription-based data sources such as IBISWorld, Euromonitor, D&B Hoovers Avention OneSource and Datamyne.

Working with the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business, the ITC created an international market research intern program in fall 2014. The internship program provides a unique opportunity for students to engage in real-world, hands-on, practical learning projects. Project teams generally consist of four students supervised by a graduate assistant and supported by an ITC staff member and international trade counselor. Students on average devote 120 hours to completing focused international market research, presentation and reporting. The scope of work of each project is customized to meet the goals and needs of each participating company. The global market information generated as a result of these projects can then be used to effectively evaluate global market opportunities in a timely, meaningful and affordable way.

To date, 31 companies have benefited from 40 projects, and 128 students have enhanced their international trade skills and future employability.

Here is just one testimonial:

“This program has helped my company tremendously. From assisting with market expansion activities, facilitating background checks and helping us verify documentation and compliance requirements, I could not have asked for a better team to help me with the international side of things. Not only has the ITC provided excellent customer service, but their research and findings have proven extremely useful and helped increase our sales internationally.” 
— Marcus Solomon, director of sales and operations, BeWell Health, LLC, Columbia, home of Nasopure

To see how your company can benefit from ITC expertise, contact ITC Director Larry Dill at dilll@missouri.edu or 573-884-5312.