With the goal of helping raise a new generation of exporters, Michigan State University is using materials created by the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service to show postsecondary business educators how they can better integrate the basics of exporting and the international marketplace into their curricula.
One way to grow the U.S. economy is to increase exports by small and medium-sized enterprises. President Barack Obama made this point recently when he announced the National Export Initiative. But to do so, the United States will need many more exporters. Although the number of smaller firms selling globally has quadrupled during the past decade, less than 2 percent of all U.S. businesses export compared with 6 percent in the United Kingdom. What to do?
A cheaper dollar, greater availability of commercial credit, and increased technical assistance can help in the short term. But in the long term, U.S. efforts to expand exporting must go broader and deeper by raising export literacy and the ability of businesses to compete in the world market. So in 2008, the Advanced International Business Institute at Michigan State University (MSU) began working with materials created by the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) to improve international business education for community college faculty members.