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In 2010, President Barack Obama announced the National Export Initiative—a plan to strengthen small businesses and double U.S. exports by the year 2014. Patrice Manuel, CEO of P/Strada, is stepping up to assist our country in making that change.

“Only one percent of small businesses work overseas,” explained Manuel. “So we’re looking at creating manufacturing facilities in the United States. Some larger companies brought some of their manufacturing here and created jobs, and I believe we can successfully do the same with smaller businesses.”

This is one of many goals for Manuel, who is tireless in her pursuit of new opportunities for P/Strada. “We are a national consulting company offering organizational development, leadership and project management,” she said. “About 80 percent of the work we do is with federal, state and local governments, and we develop relationships with other businesses for collaboration, providing both sides with a win-win for the government and other private industries.”

Today, the company has a global reach after having begun as  a one-woman show. Manuel, a retired military officer with two decades of experience in organizational development, grew P/Strada over the years by identifying her niche and expanding wherever possible. “We did our research and found that the federal government partnered with larger firms for professional services,” she explained. “When we bought our commodities wholesale like large companies do, we found that the government was much more open to the concept of doing business  with  our organization. We created  a sweet spot as a woman-owned, veteran-owned and minority-owned business.”

Now, Manuel is dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs. “We facilitate training blocks for a Kansas City entrepreneur development program called FastTrac, run by the Kaufman Foundation. We’re also developing new entrepreneurs in the area of service-disabled veterans.”

Manuel has valuable insights for these up-and-comers. “Even for a small business, the sky is the limit,” she said. “The only boundaries are the ones you set for yourself.”

For more information, please visit: www.pstrada.com
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