Project Description

Small business administration

There are more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S. that contribute to the national economy. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that is responsible for promoting and advocating on behalf of small businesses in the United States. Through microloans and informational training, SBA ensures that small businesses are prepared to enter the market with a solid foundation. Many SBA positions require a background in finance, economics, banking, accounting, business administration or similar fields.

The Office of International Trade (OIT) and the Export Assistance Centers are the SBA’s international trade divisions. The Office of International Trade offers small businesses information on the benefits of international trade and encourages them to participate in the global marketplace. OIT helps businesses gain access to export financing through loan guarantee programs.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in an independent U.S. government foreign assistance agency. The USTDA connects U.S. businesses with the appropriate resources so that they may take advantage of the opportunities in international trade. Its staff is based both in the U.S. and overseas, and aids countries in making their development goals a reality.

Careers in Small business administration

International Trade Specialist

International trade specialists assist the Regional Director in meeting program goals by analyzing proposals from U.S. companies, U.S. embassies, foreign entities and trade associations in order to develop projects in host countries. They evaluate proposals to determine the viability of a project, its importance to the economic development of the host country, and the U.S. export opportunities. International trade specialists recommend approval or disapproval of USTDA funding to the Regional Director, monitor the grant award and contracting process, coordinate with the contractor to ensure that the defined mission provides sufficient basis for decision-making, and update official files to reflect project status.

  • Qualifications: You must have one year of directly related experience, which demonstrates that you can apply your knowledge of international economic and political factors influencing the flow of goods and services among countries. If you do not have the directly related experience, you may still qualify if your major field of study is in international business, international trade, international economics, international affairs or international relations.

  • Average Entry-Level Salary: $53,000 but depends on the GS level and candidate’s experience

  • Internships: USTDA offers an internship program based in its Arlington offices for enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Placements are offered in the regional offices and the Congressional and Public Affairs, Grants, Regional Teams and Economic offices. The Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency offers legal internships.

Pellson Lau
Regional Export Finance Manager – Southern California/ Arizona
U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of International Trade, U.S. Export Assistance Center