The World Korean Business Convention, the world’s largest gathering of Korean business leaders, was held earlier this month at the Anaheim Convention Center — marking the first time the global event was hosted outside of Korea. The convention center was filled with energy as more than 500 businesses and local governments participated in the event, creating a showcase of startups, agencies, and established businesses. Booths lining large event spaces offered a diverse array of products and services, from fresh seafood, coffee, and recycled accessories to traditional Korean clothing (Hanbok), skincare products, augmented reality displays, and so much more. The convention served as a dynamic platform for businesses to discover international trade opportunities while promoting valuable cultural exchanges.
California Pavilion: A State Ready for Business
The Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (OCIE SBDC) was honored to partner with the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) to introduce the California Pavilion: A State Ready for Business. The reality is that small businesses might feel discouraged at the idea of accessing international markets due to shifting regulations, payments, and language or cultural barriers. The California Pavilion was formed to provide useful information and resources to help bridge the gap.
The California Pavilion provided businesses interested in exporting with a unique opportunity to access new and growing market opportunities taking place outside of the U.S. CalOSBA Director Tara Lynn Gray reflected on the network’s extensive reach. Gray reinforced CalOSBA’s commitment to providing inclusive opportunities for businesses within California, stating, “We are intent on making a California economy that works for all, and we are grateful for your participation in it today.”
Attendees flooded the California Pavilion to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony — a celebration of California’s robust opportunities in entrepreneurship. Partners who took part in signing memorandums of understanding with the OCIE SBDC formed a line together, representing the unity of powerful global business relationships now and well into the future.
Manal Richa, the OCIE SBDC Global Trade Center Director, highlighted the California Pavilion’s value at the World Korean Business Convention, where it “served as a vital hub for the OCIE SBDC Global Trade team to connect California- and Korea-based businesses and entrepreneurs with local, state, and federal resources while fostering collaboration and trade relationships that connect borders.” Indeed, the California Pavilion embodied the spirit of global business connectivity.
After the ceremony, there was time to connect with the CalOSBA and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) teams for a special meet-and-greet opportunity. Attendees got to engage directly with the CalOSBA team and GoBiz experts.
Cal State Fullerton and its College of Business and Economics were proud partners of the California Pavilion. The dean of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, Sridhar Sundaram, attended the World Korean Business Convention and shared insights on how the college supports local and global economic development. As an advocate for higher education, business, and global entrepreneurship, Sundaram deems it critical for institutions like Cal State Fullerton to support the economic growth within the region, stating: “The college mission is to create positive social and economic impact through intentional engagement. We support global business collaborations through both global academic partnerships and support of global trade, through community outreach activities.” The college intends to facilitate global trade growth through its support of the OCIE SBDC Global Trade Center, while locally, entrepreneurship will continue to be supported with an emphasis on social impact.
The World Korean Business Convention was a hub for thousands to witness authentic Korean culture and participate in meaningful business exchanges. We feel privileged that this remarkable event took place here in Anaheim, and we hope that the California Pavilion positively impacted those seeking opportunities in international trade.
2024 Trade Mission
The OCIE SBDC Global Trade Center will coordinate the 2024 Trade Mission as a follow-up to the World Korean Business Convention. In this upcoming mission, members of the Global Trade Team and up to 15 selected small businesses will travel to Korea to dive deeper into the abundant international business opportunities presented there. These businesses will get the chance to follow up with potential leads from manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and government agencies within Korea. The OCIE SBDC will continue to make trade missions a key component of the Global Trade Center.
Looking to Start or Grow Your Business?
At the OCIE SBDC, we are here to assist you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful. Connect with us to receive no-cost training, workshops, and one-on-one consulting to help your business flourish. Call us at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at ociesbdc.org/consultation to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.