From the January 2000 issue of Entrepreneur

No matter what size your company, if you're not in the global marketplace, you're bypassing a big chunk of potential business. Now, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has created the Global Diversity Initiative to promote the participation of ethnic minorities in international trade.

The program accepts firms that have been in operation for at least two years and have a product or service appropriate for exporting and a positive net worth. Help is provided on two levels: firms that are ready to export receive aid from U.S. Export Assistance Centers in the form of international trade information and industry connections; new-to-export firms may enroll in the six-month Market Entry Program which provides training, consultation and support.

Eighteen centers nationwide offer the Market Entry Program on a rotating basis. Most of the centers provide the training free; a few charge a nominal fee. For more information, call the U.S. Export Assistance Centers at (800) USA-TRADE.