Imagine this: A small business owner wants to expand her conveying equipment business by selling to the mining industry in Chile. Living far from the nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), she turns to the International Trade Toolkit on the Internet to assess the feasibility of her plans. With the click of the mouse, she learns about Chile's import practices and discovers important unique features of her target market. Next, she moves on to the tutorials that help her evaluate the quality of her business plan and, ultimately, her trade readiness. After receiving satisfactory results, she's ready to tackle a major international trade issue -- financing. She uses the International Trade Toolkit to research trade financing options and to locate specific lenders that meet her needs. She completes the appropriate forms and sends them directly to the lender. The lenders receive her request and use the International Trade Toolkit to establish a credit rating and perform risk analysis to determine if the proposed transactions should be funded. The small business owner has accessed the full range of information and services offered by a U.S. Export Assistance Center -- without leaving her office and without costing the Center an additional dime!

Chapter A10, Access America, Reengineering Through Information Technology