Florida SBDC Network Celebrates Florida World Trade Month

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – May marks Florida World Trade Month, a time to raise awareness of the importance of international trade to Florida’s economy and to recognize Florida companies engaging in the global marketplace. In celebration, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, is pleased to highlight David Rosen, owner of Pompano Beach-based Kira Labs, as one of its outstanding client successes whose growth is fostering economic prosperity through exporting. In May, Rosen was named the South Florida District and State of Florida Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of National Small Business Week.

(L-R): Althea Harris, SBA Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach, Area 1 (Miami);  David Rosen, President of Kira Labs; Daniel Sherlock, CFO of Kira Labs; and Rafael Cruz, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at Fort Lauderdale
(L-R): Althea Harris, SBA Assistant District Director for Marketing and Outreach, Area 1 (Miami); David Rosen, President of Kira Labs; Daniel Sherlock, CFO of Kira Labs; and Rafael Cruz, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at Fort Lauderdale

Rosen, who immigrated to the United States from Australia, started Kira Labs in 2001. Offering over 200 premium formulations, they specialize in natural, quality skincare products. In just 16 years, Rosen has turned Kira Labs into a multimillion-dollar international cosmetics manufacturer. Since their inception, they have private labeled and manufactured nearly 100 million units for over 250 brands that have sold globally.

Kira Labs has seen new revenue growth through the recessions, going from 10 employees in 2009 to more than 80 today, and growth in the millions of dollars. Today, Kira Labs’ products are in more than 2,000 stores domestically, and 456 in Europe.

Rosen attributes his company’s success to the assistance of the Florida SBDC at Fort Lauderdale, a member of the Florida SBDC Network. As part of the Florida SBDC’s International Trade Services, consultant Parbatee Chang prepared an Export Marketing Plan for Kira Labs, which helped propel the company to a higher level of excellence.

Through a partnership with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service, Florida SBDC International Trade Specialists prepare Export Marketing Plans for qualifying Florida-based manufacturers and service providers.  Specialists, who hold advanced certifications through NASBITE International, spend approximately 100 hours on each plan, creating a customized report with target market recommendations, overseas trade opportunities, and an action plan for market entry.

“Parbatee was generous enough to take the time and effort to put together a very detailed Export Marketing Plan,” said Rosen. “Today we find ourselves exporting as far as Russia, Norway, Korea — you name it, we’re all over the map.”

In addition to the Florida SBDC’s Export Marketing Plan service, the network helps businesses in Florida expand globally through:

  • One-on-One Consulting – Florida SBDC International Trade Specialists provide one-on-one consulting to help small businesses understand the basics of international trade, determine required licenses, compile market research, and understand country requirements for products. Learn more.
  • Featured Training – Florida SBDCs offer in-person and online training designed to provide a fundamental overview of what it takes to go global. To view upcoming training and the network’s on-demand Exploring International Trade Video Series, click here.
  • Blogs – Florida SBDCs routinely publish articles on relevant international trade topics. To view the Florida SBDC at USF’s Business Blog, please click here.
  • State of Small Business Report – The Florida SBDC Network annually publishes the State of Small Business Report: Small Business and Its Impact on Florida, which features the latest international trade statistics from data sources including the International Trade Administration and the U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy. To view the latest report, click here.

“The impact of international trade on Florida’s economy is undeniable,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director of the Florida SBDC. “Small businesses play a critical role, however they often lack the resources to navigate the complex requirements. The Florida SBDC is committed to providing our state’s small businesses with the expertise and resources to succeed internationally and create jobs for Florida’s economy.”

To learn more about Florida World Trade Month, please click here.