Atlanta Metro Export Challenge Supports Companies’ International Business Growth Efforts
ATLANTA – Nov. 9, 2023 – Last night, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced the companies selected for the 2024 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (MEC) cohort. Entering its eighth year, the MEC provides small and medium-sized companies expanding into new international markets with financial and mentorship support for their global business development efforts.
Each company receives a $5,000 grant used for expenses related to international business growth, such as international travel, trade show booth costs, website globalization, and more. They also benefit from a tailored mentorship program, a flight voucher from Delta Air Lines, and the chance to compete in the annual Pitch Day event where they may win additional funds to further their global growth.
At the event Wednesday, past winners of the MEC and MAC partners gathered for the unveiling of next year’s cohort.
“Supporting early-stage exporters is an important part of maintaining our region’s strength as a global trade hub. The Metro Export Challenge remains a priority for us, as it has become an integral part of metro Atlanta’s ecosystem,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, president & CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “This new cohort of companies is a testament to the region’s growth as a center for global trade.”
As the region’s largest collaborative global economic development initiative, the MEC celebrates three key milestones this year:
Providing more than $800,000 in grant funding to support the global business development efforts of small and mid-sized businesses;
Celebrating the return of the much-anticipated Pitch Day; and
Partnering with a record number of organizations and communities throughout the region.
Half of this year’s MEC companies are women-owned businesses, and the group reflects the diverse population of metro Atlanta. Previous cohorts include are 38% minority, women, and/or veteran-owned companies.
“The Metro Export Challenge (MEC) facilitates essential partnerships and connections for these participating businesses to get a foothold in expanding their global presence,” said Mary Waters, deputy commissioner for international trade at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “As MAC celebrates eight years of this partnership-driven program, its contributions to the economic vitality and competitiveness of Georgia’s capital are a shining example of local initiatives that drive global economic impacts.”
Program partners include the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, Partnership Gwinnett, Invest Atlanta, Select Cobb, Select Fulton, and NRW Global Business. All funds generated from Certificate of Origin (COO) sales are reinvested in MAC’s export programs, primarily the MEC, to support the development of the next wave of regional exporters.
“It’s through programs like MEC that businesses receive the support they need to expand global operations and thrive in international markets,” said George Tracy, director, International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service – Atlanta. “The International Trade Administration is proud to champion the Metro Export Challenge, recognizing its significant contribution to the growth and success of diverse companies, and the continued impact of this unparalleled program.”
The 10 metro Atlanta companies selected for this year’s cohort include:
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta’s quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta’s story. For more information, visit www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com.