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Director of SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership Visits Helicopter Tech in King of Prussia, PA

SBA Celebrates Women’s History Month With Woman-Owned Small Business That Found Success Through Exporting, Federal Government Contracting
Release Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2016
Release Number: 
20160401-001
Contact: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 | robert.goza@sba.gov

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA– Erin Andrew, director of the Office of Women’s Business Opportunities for the U.S. Small Business Administration, visited Helicopter Tech, Inc. on March 31 during the agency’s observance of Women’s History Month. Helicopter Tech, Inc. (HTI), headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa. is a woman-owned small business established in 1995 by CEO Rachel Carson to meet the needs of the many diverse customers within the aviation industry. Helicopter Tech provides thousands of aircraft parts, manufactured by its subcontractors and suppliers, and delivered through its supply chain management operation. The company manages the manufacture and delivery of the parts to ensure consistent quality, efficiency, and cost and has successfully utilized SBA and Department of Commerce programs for success in government contracting and exporting.

“The SBA is committed to identifying opportunities to the challenges women entrepreneurs continue to face. As Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, I have met women entrepreneurs – like Rachel Carson, CEO of HTI – around the country and they’ve told me about the challenges they face including access to capital, access to markets, and limited resources to scale their businesses who have found further success through exporting and government contracting opportunities,” Andrew said.

“Exporting keeps us diversified,” said Carson.  “For example, during the summer, when the U.S. does less maintenance on their helicopters, we’re able to maintain steady business during the winter aviation maintenance period in Australia, and vice versa.”   She adds, “I continue to look for new opportunities in international markets, and will certainly be taking advantage of the U.S. Commercial Service as it has been a huge help in our efforts to grow our international business.”

“Women business owners and entrepreneurs are critical to the strength and vitality of our local, state, and national economies.  Our SBA programs, coordinated through the District Office and in coordination with other agencies such as the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, help women overcome the unique challenges and obstacles in achieving success,” Andrew said. “There are great opportunities for Pennsylvanian woman-owned and managed businesses interested in exporting, like HTI. Since its founding in 1995, HTI has expanded its aircraft parts business to support 300 companies in 23 countries and has used STEP grants to help them make it happen.”

Carson has said that being a woman in a largely male-dominated field has actually been an asset. “Once you’ve demonstrated your knowledge of the product and awareness of customer needs, you quickly gain respect,” she says. “Do your homework first, and the sales will follow.”    

Assistant Administrator Andrew is director of the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. She oversees the agency’s efforts to promote the growth of women-owned businesses through advocacy and programs that provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and multiple business and networking opportunities.

Andrew manages a nationwide network of women's business centers that provide training, counseling and mentoring to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in every state and two U.S. territories.  Her office also works with representatives in every SBA district office to oversee operations of the Women’s Business Centers and to coordinate services for women entrepreneurs.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government whose mission is to help small businesses start, grow and succeed through loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. SBA also helps people recover from disasters and rebuild their lives by providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses.