Initiatives

Small Business Jobs Act

With the help of the Small Business Jobs Act, the DC Small Business Development Center
has formed an International Trade counseling division to promote exports. (This is in line with
the National Export Initiative, under which President Obama committed the full powers of the
federal government to support American businesses that export goods and services in an effort to
improve the American economic position and create jobs in the United States.)

The international trade team has been working to identify existing resources within the federal
government, especially those that are best suited for small businesses and make them easily
understood and accessible for their clients. To this end, they have engaged with international
trade stakeholders from various institutions, including the Department of Commerce and its
International Trade Administration, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade
and Development Agency, the Washington Business Journal, and more. The counselors have
actively reached out to potential clients in Washington D.C. and have counseled clients from a
variety of industries, ranging from electronics and apparel to spirits and medical devices.
They held an “Exporting Basics” workshop in October 2012, and will be holding an open house this spring.

Improve Your Online Marketing Presence

More than 50 percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a basic website. To address this need, the DC SBDC Network has created this initiative with funds from the 2010 Jobs Grant Act. It provides free counseling and technical assistance to District of Columbia-based small business owners who have not had a previous online/web presence. The purpose of the initiative is to educate small business owners about social media tools for business development and; assist them in developing websites and blogs for their businesses.

As part of the initiative, technical assistants provide workshops and trainings, “WEB DEV BOOTCAMPS”, as well as one-on-one counseling sessions designed to help clients identify appropriate web tools and sustainable web platforms for their business websites. Business owners will also have free access to assistance in the development and review of web content for their websites. Business owners without web experience and who do not plan to hire website developer are invited to take advantage of this initiative. The goal of the DC SBDC Network is to help entrepreneurs to establish their online presence and grow their businesses through access to social media and website development.

Our International Staff

Ian Oliver is an international trade consultant with over a decade of experience in business
linkages, business development, and public-private-partnerships for small and medium sized
American enterprises expanding or establishing investments in foreign markets. Based in
Washington DC, Ian assists entrepreneurs in navigating relationships within the international
development and trade communities including U.S. government agencies. He has particular
expertise on African marketplaces and is on the ground in Africa several times per year in
search of solutions and profitable relationships on behalf of clients.

Jessica Stallings is an international trade analyst who has worked on trade and economic issues
at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the South Korean Embassy, and the Institute of International Finance.
She has an M.A. in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies.

Shirin Mohammadi is an international trade analyst with experience
working for the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund on economic issues. She has
an M.A. in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies, where she also served as a teaching assistant for International Trade
Theory.
Updated 4/18/2013 2:33:45 PM | BJohnson