An upcoming virtual export conference is being touted as the second step in helping grow and promote Guam's local pool of entrepreneurs and small businesses as the island continues to slog through the pandemic. 

“One thing the pandemic has done was draw out the entrepreneurial spirit of our people, many of whom are learning new skills, joining the e-commerce marketplace, and starting businesses based on their passions,” Melanie Mendiola, Guam Economic Development Authority CEO and administrator, said in a GEDA press release.

“Last year we focused on helping people start and grow a business. The purpose of this year’s event is to provide local small businesses and entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and strategies to export to international markets in the current economic climate."

The one-day virtual export conference is titled “Taking the Leap Beyond Guam: Exporting for Businesses” and will take place from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 10. 

The conference is the culmination of GEDA’s Guam State Trade Expansion Program. Funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Guam STEP is intended to assist eligible small businesses enter and succeed in the international marketplace. 

The event will feature public and private sector representatives and experts in international markets, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, Hawaii Pacific Export Council, Sacramento Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, Guam Small Business Development Center, btrax Inc. and Coupang, as well as entrepreneurs and small businesses from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii. The conference will feature programs such as the Made in Guam Product Seal Program and discuss a range of topics including Taking the Next Step: Guam State Trade Expansion Program, Are You Ready to Export?; Catch the Wave: Export Market Trends; Digital Strategies for your Business, From Local to Global Exporting to Japan and Selling on Coupang Global Marketplace.

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