Training for international trade

Find training on international trade through SBA, official government programs, and non-governmental organizations.


SBA training

Your local SBA office can help you develop a training plan to increase your export readiness based on your goals. Part of this process is making sure your company is healthy, ready to scale, and that you have a plan in place. Find your SBA district office or business counseling center to connect with local experts on international trade. 

SBA’s Office of International Trade provides in-person and virtual training on export-related topics. These topics include how to find international customers, E-Commerce, and more. You can access many of these recorded trainings on our YouTube channel. Stay updated on upcoming events by signing up for our mailing list and following LinkedIn announcements.

SBA offices and Small Business Development Centers can also provide training on our trade financing programs. You can contact your local SBA export finance manager to learn more. General information on trade finance and insurance is available using the ITA's Trade Finance Guide.

SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program, or STEP, is available in most U.S. states and territories. STEP is a grant program that can reimburse small businesses for costs associated with international market expansion. The costs of international trade training, including U.S. government export-related trainings, may be eligible for SBA STEP grants if approved in advance. Check with your state or territory to see if they participate in STEP and learn how to apply.

SBA’s Ascent provides valuable content on how to scale your business internationally. Ascent Journey 10 includes worksheets on topics including exporting, importing and social entrepreneurship.  

Other federal training highlights

Outside of SBA, the International Trade Administration provides videos on How to Export. They also have an international eCommerce series. Your local U.S. Export Assistance Center can also help connect you to upcoming local trainings. 

Some U.S. Agencies specifically address trade compliance. For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade Relations team hosts training events on the topic. To learn about their upcoming events, visit Stakeholder Engagement. The Bureau of Industry and Security has also created training seminars on export controls. 

Food and beverage companies can find training through USDA State Regional Trade Groups.

Other trade training resources

Many SBA small business counselors may also recommend use of non-governmental training programs. You can discuss paid and no-cost programs based on your training needs during the business counseling process.

The Global Trade Helpdesk can help you find information about imports, market dynamics, tariffs, and more. Other international training programs can be found at ConnectAmericas Academy and SheTrades. Free registration is required to access these programs. With all third-party information, it is necessary to cross-check official federal regulations.

Export-U provides webinar trainings such as Are You Ready to Export?Documents and Forms, and Payment Terms. With all third-party information, it is necessary to cross-check official federal regulations.

Get educated on sustainable trade trends

Around the world, organizations focus on empowering small businesses for success in sustainability. Incorporating sustainability into your small business can also help you compete globally.

America’s SBDC, the association for Small Business Development Centers, provides guidance on where to start. Tips include greening your storefront, monitoring water consumption, and decreasing E-waste. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Steps to Sustainability 2.0 and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Green Trade Strategy also provide educational resources and steps to guide small businesses on their green transition. 

Last updated February 6, 2024