My U.S. Export Story—Finding Customers Around the World

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Visa U.S.A. are cosponsoring a video contest that seeks to inform small businesses about the advantages of exporting and increase awareness of government assistance available to support small business exporters.  We are looking for creative videos from small businesses that show how they became successful exporters. Videos must highlight at least one of the following: important lessons learned; factors that influenced the decision to become an exporter; advice for small businesses considering exporting; or a favorite exporting story.

View full rules








The contest is open to small businesses in the United States and its territories including, but not limited to, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam. You must be a small business as determined by SBA's size standards (; have successfully completed at least one export transaction; and used at least one Federal program or service to support an export transaction.  The small business owner(s) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old to enter and win the Contest.  Small businesses who have won any prize in the SBA Visa Export Video Contest within the past two years are not eligible.  Eligible small businesses may submit only one video.

Any videos developed with federal funding, either grant, contract, or loan proceeds, are not eligible to win.

Federal employees and their immediate families, Visa U.S.A. Inc. employees and their immediate families, current SBA contractors and SBA grant recipients may enter the Contest but are not eligible to win. “Immediate family members” include spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption, co-habitation or other familial extension, and any other persons residing at the same household location, whether or not related.


In order for a video to be eligible to enter or win this Contest, the entry must meet the following requirements:

  1. Contest participants must create an original video. 
  2. Contest participants must end their video with the following words: “That’s my exporting story. Where will your next customer come from?”.  This statement can be spoken, written, embedded or delivered in any appropriate way deemed effective by the submitter.
  3. All videos must have a unique title or they will not be judged. i.e., not “My Export Story”.
  4. Videos must highlight one of the following: important lessons learned; factors that influenced the decision to become an exporter; advice for small businesses considering exporting; or a favorite exporting story.
  5. Videos must be 3 minutes or less (no more than 180 seconds) in length and produced in a high-resolution format.
  6. Videos must be educational, not promotional in nature (i.e., a commercial for the small business’ products or services).  Videos should tell a story.
  7. Only one video may be submitted per business
  8. Videos must not contain violence, profanity, sex, images of a prurient nature, or direct attacks on individuals or organizations.  SBA will disqualify any entries it deems to contain offensive material.
  9. Do not use the SBA seal or logo or the Visa trademark in your video.
  10. The video must be the contest participant’s own original creation and must not infringe on any third party rights. No copyrighted music, video, or images may be used in submissions to this contest without appropriate permission. Entrants are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions. Videos previously developed for other organizations may be submitted.  Videos must not have been previously produced for compensation, posted on any SBA page, or submitted to SBA prior to the contest.
  11. All videos must be submitted through by 5pm EDT on April 22, 2013.   Submissions will be accepted starting at 12pm EDT on February 25, 2013.
  12. Winners must provide a copy of the original video file of their Video to SBA and a transcript of words spoken or sung in the video  Winners will be contacted by email to provide the original video and transcript.
  13. All Contest submissions must adhere to the Standards of Conduct (
  14. Questions can be posted in the Forums or emailed to


Christopher Eskelinen

Christopher Eskelinen
Export Specialist - US Small Business Administration

John Miller

John Miller
Director of Development and Training - US Small Business Administration

Christian Edvardsen

Christian Edvardsen
Small Business - Visa, Inc.

Arleene Tong

Arleene Tong
Visa, Inc.

John Larsen

John Larsen

Stephen Sullivan

Stephen Sullivan
Export Specialist - US Small Business Administration

Richard Ginsburg

Richard Ginsburg
Sr. Export Specialist - US Small Business Administration

Tanya Smith

Tanya Smith
Export Specialist - US Small Business Administration

Shadetra Robinson

Shadetra Robinson
Grant Program Specialist - US Small Business Administration

Jewel Linzey

Jewel Linzey
Grant Program Specialist - US Small Business Administration

Judging Criteria

  • Inspirational nature of the message for potential exporters and effectiveness in promoting exporting
  • Creativity and uniqueness of video concept
  • Value of lessons learned/communicated
  • Use of U.S. Government program/service
  • Innovative means of delivering the message
  • Audio and visual quality of the video

How to enter

Interested persons should read these Official Rules before entering the Contest. 

All Contest participants must submit their video through the portal.  Please note, in order to submit a video, Contest participants will first need to register and create an account with 

Contest participants must:

  1. Prior to submitting a video, register with  Registration is free.
  2. From the Contest webpage on, use the “Enter a Submission” tab to submit:
    1. The title of your video;
    2. A text description of your video;
    3. A link to your video on or; and
    4. Consent forms for video producer and any other person or music appearing in your video.
  3. Once a video is submitted, the Contest participant cannot make any changes or alterations to any part of the Submission.
  4. After submission, all videos will be screened by SBA for compliance with Video Submission Requirements.
  5. Eligible Submissions will be posted on the contest webpage on a rolling basis.  Submissions failing to meet Video Submission Requirements will be deemed ineligible to win a prize.  Posting a video to the Contest website does not constitute SBA and/or Visa’s final determination of Contest participant or video eligibility.
  6. A Submission will not be considered complete and eligible to win prizes without Video Consent Forms [PDF] uploaded for each individual that appears in the Video.  All completed Video Consent Forms must include a handwritten signature, be scanned and combined into a single file (ZIP) and uploaded as part of the submission on