SteelMaster’s Emma Granada speaks at White House
Emma Granada, international business development manager at SteelMaster, spoke at the White House on Wednesday about SteelMaster’s success doing business in Africa. Her presentation took place at the 2013 Doing Business in Africa Forum, part of an Obama administration initiative to double U.S. exports by 2015 in order to support job growth at home.
The program’s organizers “wanted to highlight our export success,” Granada says. “Our company has had tremendous success with exporting. Furthermore, we have been able to do business in Africa — one of the most difficult places to do business.”
Other speakers included Rebecca Blank, acting secretary of the Department of Commerce, and Mike Froman, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser.
Together with Enoh Ebong, general counsel for the U.S. Trade & Development Administration, Granada discussed how government agencies can help businesses looking to export their products to Africa by providing market research, feasibility studies and financing. Agencies include the USTDA, the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
“These resources, both federal and state, have been invaluable to us as we’ve built our business in Africa and in the rest of the world,” says Granada. “We’ve been able to approach export systematically and grow more quickly as a result.”
SteelMaster began building its international business in 2005 and has developed a network of distributors that spans six continents. Our distributors work in 12 countries across Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Angola, Tanzania and South Sudan.
“Despite its challenges, Africa is rich with opportunities,” says Marketing Director Michelle Wickum, who also attended the Doing Business in Africa Forum. “We as a company are fortunately equipped with the resources to tap into those opportunities and are excited to work in such a fast-emerging market.”
SteelMaster’s past projects in Africa include emergency shelters and community centers in South Sudan, equipment storage complexes in Angola, private buildings in Namibia and mining facilities in Tanzania.
In addition, SteelMaster has won a number of awards for its export efforts:
- The UPS Growth through Global Trade Award, which recognizes the top U.S. business with fewer than 500 employees that most effectively exports to international markets.
- Commonwealth of Virginia Compass Award for Excellence in International Trade presented the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The award recognizes companies that have excelled in global trade while promoting the best interests of their employees and surrounding community, contributing to the economic health and quality of life of Virginians while positively representing the Commonwealth in the international arena.
- 1st place winner of the Small Business Administration/VISA Export Video Contest, which promoted the advantages of exporting and increased awareness of government assistance available to small business exporters via a short video highlighting how the businesses had ventured into and achieved success with exporting.
- 2012 Virginia Exporter of the Year, recognizing the contributions of a small Virginia business to the American economy.
SteelMaster also serves a large domestic market with buildings designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including homes, farm buildings, garages, workshops, agricultural storage, airplane hangars, RV storage, roofing systems, carports, military buildings, commercial warehousing and industrial storage, as well as a wide variety of custom building applications including athletic facilities, retail stores, churches, bus stops, smoke shacks, dog kennels and correctional facilities.
The SteelMaster engineering and design staff has experience in a wide variety of custom building applications including athletic facilities, correctional facilities, disaster relief buildings, places of worship, bus stops, smoke shacks, livestock-friendly shelters and feed areas, climate-controlled kennels and eco-friendly buildings.
Alexandra is a marketing assistant at SteelMaster.