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Selling to Colombia: Insights & Resources for Women-Owned Businesses

June 12 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Whether you are preparing your market entry strategy or looking to expand, register for this webinar to hear insights on opportunities in the Colombian market, considerations for U.S. women-owned businesses on doing business in Colombia and information on programs and services available from both the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce to support you.

Women-owned small businesses can benefit from the ease of doing business and cost-savings available by exporting to countries the United States has a free trade agreement with, including Colombia. Women-owned small business can learn about opportunities and resources available for exporting from federal partners such as SBA’s Office of International Trade, Commerce’s International Trade Administration’s Office of Western Hemisphere, and the U.S. Commercial Service in Colombia. We invite you to join a discussion on June 12, 2024, at 2:00 pm ET designed for woman-owned U.S. small business looking to grow exports to Colombia. Learn also about challenges in doing business in Colombia and how to address challenges with the assistance of SBA and Commercial Service experts. There is no cost to join this webinar.

About Colombia:

· The United States is Colombia’s number one business partner with a market share of 25% of Colombia’s total international trade. The fourth largest economy in Latin America and the third largest population with approximately 51.5 million inhabitants, Colombia has a stable and growing economy and a growing middle class with purchasing power.

· Colombia’s current political stability and much improved security conditions have cultivated a more friendly international business environment attracting U.S. investment from recognizable hotel and airlines.

· Outside of the capital city of Bogota, Colombia boasts five additional developed and modern urban city centers, each with more than one million inhabitants, offering a wide range of industry and market sector opportunities for U.S. businesses.

About the Speakers:

Claire Ehmann, Associate Administrator for International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration

Claire Ehmann is the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade where she is responsible for helping U.S. small businesses grow by reaching new customers in the global marketplace. Working with 21 U.S. Export Assistance Centers, SBA district offices, and public and private-sector partners, the Office of International Trade directs Export Loan Programs, the State Trade Expansion Program, and other trade assistance to encourage and assist U.S. small business exports.

Sara Hagigh, Senior International Trade Specialist, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Sara Hagigh brings 28 years’ experience as a Team Leader and Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA). Sara has worked in industry and regional offices, including Europe, China and the Western Hemisphere. In each position, Sara has assisted U.S. small-medium business to export to growing markets overseas.

Diane Jones, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Western Hemisphere, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

As Executive Director for the Western Hemisphere, Diane Jones oversees a network of 24 field offices throughout the region that are responsible for strengthen the United States’ commercial position in the Western Hemisphere.

Lisa White, Commercial Attaché, Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce

Lisa White joined the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) in 2020 and is currently Commercial Attaché at U.S. Embassy Bogota. She manages a team of five Foreign Service Nationals and oversees a portfolio that includes infrastructure, construction, ports, energy, mines, environment, agricultural machinery, education, travel and tourism, and SelectUSA.

Moderator – Gabriela Zelaya, Director, Global Export Diversity Initiative, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Gabriela Zelaya is the Community Engagement Director for the Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) at the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. She manages U.S. Commercial Service GDEI programs that assist exporters from diverse businesses including minority, women, LGBTQI+, veteran, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses by leveraging the network of U.S. and overseas offices of the U.S. export assistance centers.

Lorie Symon, Aerometals

Lorie Symon is the CEO/President of Aerometals Inc., responsible for the strategic vision, company culture, and business development of the aerospace corporation. Aerometals was founded in 1984 and has been in El Dorado Hills, CA since 1998. Employing 175+ people housed in 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space, Lorie oversees all facets of manufacturing, design, and testing.

Vicky Ibañez, Executive Director, AmCham Barranquilla

Ms. Ibañez founded AmCham Barranquilla in 1998 and has held the role of Executive Director since. During her time in this role, she has led different initiatives in corporate governance, ethics, transparency and educational programs, and social responsibility projects, aimed at promoting bilingualism in the region. She has grown membership to 180+ companies and organizations.

Martha Jimenez, Program Manager, Maryland Women’s Business Center – Montgomery County

Martha Jimenez currently holds the position of program manager for Montgomery County. Her performance shows a series of notable accomplishments, chief among them being her instrumental leadership in the establishment of a thriving retail business incubator.

Lisa Phillips – MBDA Export Center

Lisa Phillip, Founder and CEO, Hybas International, LLC Lisa Phillip is the President and Founder of Hybas International LLC, an export trading company that trades in both commodities and professional services. Hybas specializes in strategic sourcing for bulk chemicals, industrial equipment, and spare parts. The company also provides professional services in project management and supply chain management. Since 2003, Hybas has conducted international business in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East.

Desi Jordanoff, Director, Trade Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Small Business Administration