As consumers in emerging global markets are earning more income, opportunities for Greater Richmond companies to export goods and services continues to grow. But to turn these opportunities into action, business leaders need to know why and how to export. That is why MREI exists: to communicate the many benefits of exporting, to guide companies and organizations through the process of “going global,” and to connect them with the resources to make it happen.

The idea for MREI emerged in 2013, when the organization’s partners identified the need to guide more area businesses toward exporting. In June 2014, after a year of consensus building, a regional kick-off event was held to generate awareness. In January 2015, our core group — the Greater Richmond Partnership, Virginia’s Gateway Region, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Urban & Regional Analysis — came together to launch the Metro Richmond Exports Initiative. Virginia Economic Development Partnership International Trade and JPMorgan Chase came together to offer funding. Since then, after many focus groups, interviews, outreach initiatives and programs, MREI is ready and waiting to help your company make the world your marketplace.