MSU's new Michigan Export Growth Program helping companies go global
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Companies wishing to go global but needing the knowledge to make the dream a reality can avail themselves of pro bono services through the new Michigan Export Growth Program at Michigan State University.
(Media-Newswire.com) - EAST LANSING, Mich. — Companies wishing to go global but needing the knowledge to make the dream a reality can avail themselves of pro bono services through the new Michigan Export Growth Program at Michigan State University.
The Michigan Export Growth Program, an initiative of the International Business Center in MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business, is the first of its kind supported by the Ford Motor Co. Foundation and is a first for the business college.
With a $50,000 seed grant from the Ford College Community Challenge, the IBC is providing professional consulting services at no cost to Greater Lansing area companies that want to see their product lines or business expand to international markets.
“Local economies suffering from the effects of globalization are essentially the ones which have tried to resist the implications of globalization and have tried to keep their ‘old ways’ instead of seeing it as an opportunity to expand their horizons and their reach,” said Tomas Hult, acting associate dean for global initiatives and director of the IBC.
MSU has a long history of partnering with businesses and organizations, including the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to promote global commerce and trade in mid-Michigan and beyond.
The IBC pro bono teams have been working with a number of companies, including food producers and health providers, and with the Capital Regional International Airport in Lansing. Their expertise is broad enough to cover all economic sectors but deep enough to be very valuable, he said.
Hult, a professor of international business, said the companies are matched with student teams led by the center’s staff and faculty who have expertise in a particular trade or industry. The team engages with their company officials to understand the landscape of the company’s exporting infrastructure ( or lack thereof ) and the product or products to be exported.
The outcome of each project is a set of deliverables customized to the needs of each company with the goal being to provide a practical plan for implementation.
A basic form is available on the Web for companies to provide relevant background information such as any previous or current international experience the company has or what type of research assistance would be helpful. The form can be found at http://ciber.msu.edu/MEGP.
The MSU teams will guide company officials through the globalization maze and discuss expectations for expansion, emerging markets, product viability, financial considerations, time frames, government rules and regulations, and the projected target customers.
Nine staff members, 31 students and faculty are available on an as-need basis with some staff and students on a stand-by basis to initiate projects with company representatives when they walk in the door.
“We have the capacity to work with five firms at the same time,” Hult said. “Our goal is to help 50 firms or about 25 firms per semester to the end of May 2010. After that we will be able to assist approximately 25 firms per year.”
For more information on the Michigan Export Growth Program, the IBC and other Eli Broad College of Business programs, visit the Web at http://global.broad.msu.edu/ibc/.
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.
This story was released on 2009-10-01. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.