Mar 3, 2020

Wisconsin SBDC offers 1-on-1 assistance to maximize exports

The Wisconsin Small Business Development (SBDC) Network wants businesses across the state to find new markets for their products and services with the help of an international trade expert.

Chad Hoffman, a NASBITE certified global business professional, provides no-cost consulting to companies new to exporting as well as existing exporters that could perform better.

“There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for international growth, and navigating the many local, state and federal trade programs can be daunting,” Hoffman said. “Yet the opportunities are immense and within reach, since most US exporters are small- and medium-sized businesses.”

In 2016, 8,485 Wisconsin companies exported, with 7,337 (87 percent) falling in the small and medium category. In 2017, the value of the state’s exports was $22.7 billion, ranking 19th in the nation.

Even experienced exporters can benefit from assistance. Many are still unaware of the resources available. And according to the International Trade Administration, most US firms export to three or fewer countries.

“The Go Global Initiative enhances our consultants’ ability to engage with new and existing exporters, determine their potential and educate them on the best available,” said Bon Wikenheiser, state director. “We are excited to build upon and broaden efforts started three years ago at the SBDC at UW-Oshkosh.”

The Wisconsin SBDC helps businesses start and grow by offering no-cost, confidential consulting and business education across 13 locations. In 2019, the SBDC served 4,658 clients, resulting in $91.3 million in capital investment, 300 new businesses and 19,717 jobs supported.

The primary goals of the Go Global Initiative are to increase the total net value of goods exported from Wisconsin and the number of firms that export.

“We want people to realize that 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of our borders,” said Hoffman, who has 21 years of public and private international trade experience. “Wisconsin businesses can diversify, grow revenue and mitigate risk by tapping into global markets.”

“Wisconsin has a great reputation globally for innovative, high-quality products in numerous sectors,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president for international markets for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “Exports are a great way for many companies to diversify their revenue base by finding new consumers for their products.”

To learn more, go to or contact Hoffman at 608-301-6215 or



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Jennie Broecker