Small business owners interested in learning to export are encouraged to attend the Governor’s Entrepreneur and Small Business Office’s third annual conference dedicated to mentoring small companies on Monday, Oct. 3.

Entitled “Moving Your Business Forward,” the 8 a.m.-4 p.m. event is to be held at the Hyatt Regency downtown. It will include a session, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., focused on preparing companies to do international business.

The workshop, “Global Readiness,” is to be moderated by Hemisphere Inc. Executive Director Jose Ignacio Gonzalez and is to feature Felicia Suttle, president of South African Tourism USA Inc.; Bernard D’Andria, president of Acorn International Group; Kathe Falls, director of international trade and global commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Deborah Bartlett, CEO of Network & Bartlett Communications Inc.

“People often think that exporting is for the big companies, but that is not the case. Small companies can benefit too,” Ms. Falls told GlobalAtlanta, noting that more than 80 percent of Georgia’s 10,000 exporters are small companies.

A U.S. Export Assistance Center booth will be at the conference to provide individual export counseling to companies, she added.

The event, which is sponsored by Georgia Department of Economic Development and Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, is an opportunity for small companies to present their services to government agencies and businesses, as well as receive instruction on various business topics.

The conference, “Moving Your Business Forward: The Power of Mentoring,” includes sessions on incorporating a company, supplier diversity programs, franchising, using technology to build a customer base, exporting, business mentoring, hiring and outsourcing strategies and doing business with sports organizations.

Phil Wilkins, author of “The Wealthy Entrepreneur,” is to be the keynote speaker. Companies that will exhibit at the conference include 57 Main St. Wine Co., AirTran Airways Inc., BB&T Corp., BellSouth Corp., Choice Hotels International Inc., Cingular Wireless LLC, CRM Essentials Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Enterprise Leasing Co., Georgia Power Co., Home Depot Inc., International Business Machines Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Macy’s Central, Shell Oil Co., Wade Ford Inc., Washington Mutual Inc. and Wachovia Corp.

Cost is $95 before Sunday, Sept. 25 and $105 after. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, a 12-month subscription to the Atlanta Tribune, AirTran domestic upgrade coupons, admission to conference workshops and plenary sessions and one-on-one interviews with procurement professionals from the public and private sectors.

Scholarships are available for business owners displaced by Hurricane Katrina by contacting Pat Lottier at or (770) 587-0501 ext. 203.

For more information, call (770) 587-0501 ext. 206 or send an email to To register, visit or