The College of Business (CoB) at Governors State University held a workshop called “Doing Business in Africa” in the university’s Engbretson Hall. Nearly 90 people from area businesses and other organizations attended the all-day event.
Trade specialists from several African countries were present, as well as Federal and State government representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Export-Import Bank; Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Presentations focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging African markets such as Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, and they highlighted the multitude of assistance services provided by U.S. agencies to small and medium-sized businesses that seek to expand their reach into global markets.
Keynote speaker Brandon Megordon, Country Manager for East and Central Africa at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, presented on President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative. A panel of business representatives shared first-hand experiences of working and succeeding in African business markets. AAR Corp, the Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, the Africa Heritage Foundation, Kofa International, Norvax, Parco Corporation, and Wintrust Financial Corporation were all represented at the event.
The workshop was supported by a Department of Education grant through the Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research (IU CIBER), a longtime CoB partner. It was co-sponsored by GSU’s Small Business Development and International Trade Centers, as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
This was the second in a series of “Doing Business” workshops that the CoB will organize with support from a five-year grant from the Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research. The first installment, focused on Doing Business in Latin America, was presented in 2015. The last two workshops will be held in 2017 and 2018 and will focus on doing business in the Middle East and South Asia.
The 2015-2016 IU CIBER grant will also provide support for a GSU study abroad trip to South Africa in May, as well as two one-dayfaculty development workshops on international business in June.