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DSLBD Marks Successful Trade Mission to South Africa

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Participating Businesses Return with South African Market Opportunities

Washington, DC—The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the small businesses participating in the South Africa trade mission have returned from South Africa with business opportunities in the South African market. The trade mission was part of DSLBD's ExportDC program and led six participating businesses through more than 70 business to business meetings from June 11–June 15.

"DSLBD is committed to linking DC's small and local businesses with global business opportunities in real-time," said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "We maintained an aggressive pace of meetings throughout the mission, created real value for the businesses that participated, and deepened the District's relationship with South Africa."

ExportDC is the District's first major export-readiness-and-development program for DC-based small businesses. Through training, targeted service provision, trade mission support, and business opportunity identification, ExportDC helps build the export capacity of DC firms and ensure that they are positioned to compete globally. As part of President Obama's National Export Initiative, ExportDC is partially funded through the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from the US Small Business Administration, with specific program outcomes which include increasing the number of DC businesses that export and the dollar volume of exports from DC businesses, as well as opening a number of new markets for DC businesses.

The June 11–15 trade mission targeted the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Capetown, and included one-on-one meetings with potential export partners as well as sessions with major public commercial agencies in both cities. The focus of the mission was to promote DC service exports in the educational, finance, construction, sustainability, and information technology sectors. The trade mission provided the first business development activity under the Tshwane Sister City Agreement renewed by Mayor Gray in July 2011.

"I truly appreciate the DSLBD team being there to ensure that the trade mission was effective," said Triune Solutions President and CEO Theresa Gilchrest. "As a result of the mission, I identified joint venture opportunities in South Africa and Kenya, and I plan to return to South Africa in July to move those opportunities forward."

The firms that participated in the South Africa trade mission are: All State Floors, Delphos International, Pensarus, Sunshine Construction, Sustainable Communities Development Company, and Triune Solutions.

"DSLBD did an excellent job of preparing us for the mission and designing an effective week," said Delphos International Vice President Brian Tarmey. "We met with two of South Africa's three largest construction companies and a handful of sustainable development companies. We look forward to growing our business in South Africa and beyond."

To learn more about ExportDC, please visit  To view photos from the South Africa mission and pre-mission briefing session, please visit To learn more about DSLBD, please visit, follow us on Twitter at, or check out our photostream at

About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development

The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District's commercial corridors. For more information on all of DSLBD's services, go to or contact us at [email protected].

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