John H. Chafee Center for International Business

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business provides comprehensive international trade services for businesses to expand into international markets.

John H. Chafee Center for International Business

Mark S. Murphy, Director
(401) 232-6406
(401) 232-6416
1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University is a resource for students, businesses, organizations and individuals interested in global trade. Named for the late U.S. senator from Rhode Island – a long-time advocate of international trade and the benefits of introducing new markets to our nation's businesses –the Center’s mission is to foster world trade through collaboration with the University’s academic programs, partnerships with state and federal entities, and outreach to the business community.

For over 35 years, the Chafee Center has provided comprehensive international trade services for businesses of all sizes and industries. Services and programs include global market research, corporate training, international trade events and strategic consulting.

For Students

The Chafee Center offers experiential learning about real-world business issues. With the guidance of Chafee Center staff and Bryant faculty, students have an opportunity to participate in projects, directed studies, practica, and internships that involve research, analysis, and planning to help companies grow their international business.

For Businesses

Through the Center's professional staff and its extensive network of strategic partners, both new-to-export companies and experienced exporters can receive help and guidance on global trade issues that are impacting their businesses.

The Center is a valuable, cost-effective resource to local companies and individuals for any of their international and domestic trade issues. The Center’s knowledgeable staff of international trade professionals provides guidance, referrals and relevant information in response to requests for assistance. Whether a company is a new exporter, a global entrepreneur or an experienced world trader, all are encouraged to contact the Center to learn more about our programs and services, speak with a staff member for assistance, or schedule a meeting.

The Center offers individualized consulting to interested companies and individuals. The Center’s in-house staff of international trade professionals works closely with clients to identify their goals and objectives, determine an appropriate project scope and apply the necessary resources to deliver a comprehensive solution that addresses the specific company’s business needs.

In addition to staff, business consulting projects also use outside partnerships and resources, including faculty and students from Bryant University and other educational institutions, local trade and industry organizations, foreign government trade organizations and other partner organizations around the globe. Assistance is available to local, regional, national and international companies.

The Center also assists multinational companies in entering the U.S. market and encourages foreign companies interested in expanding into the U.S. to consider engaging with the Center’s experienced staff to explore opportunities in Rhode Island, New England and beyond.

Consulting services can include:

  • Customized international market research
  • International business development strategies
  • Assistance in developing international channel partners
  • International business plan writing
  • Global supply chain strategies
  • Entry strategies for companies looking to enter the U.S. market

Please contact the Center to discuss your particular needs so that we can provide you with a plan to help your company achieve global success!

As part of its goal to promote experiential learning for its students, Bryant’s degree programs in International Business, Global Supply Chain Management and the MBA require students to complete a practicum. Students work on real-world projects for individual client companies. Building on classroom learning, team work and guidance from a team of Bryant professors and business professionals at the Chafee Center, students spend the semester on research and analysis to prepare and deliver high level, actionable reports to their client companies.

This is also an ideal opportunity for companies to become involved with the University and work with bright, highly motivated Bryant students who are preparing to enter the workforce. The practica are conducted over the course of one term, approximately 10-12 weeks. For more information, contact Gerald Cohen, 401-232-6483, gcohen@bryant.edu

International Business (IB)

For companies with an international business project, the IB Practicum provides an ideal opportunity to work with some of the brightest and best young adults preparing to enter the workforce. The IB Practicum is offered in the Spring and Fall terms each year.

U.S. News & World Report recently recognized Bryant’s International Business (IB) program as one of the best in the nation — No. 25 in a field that includes some of the most prestigious universities in the country.

 MBA Practicum

Bryant’s full-time MBA program requires graduate students to participate in the MBA Practicum, offered annually May through August. An appropriate project scope and deliverables, whether domestic U.S., international, or combination, will be determined in discussions with the client company, Bryant faculty and staff, and the students.

Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) Practicum

The GSCM Practicum provides companies with an opportunity to work with a talented team of senior students with the latest knowledge on supply chain issues, who can provide research, analysis and recommendations on real-world global supply chain issues. Past student practica have identified over $14M in supply chain-related savings for their clients.

The Chafee Center offers numerous options for training on a wide range of international business topics. These events feature global business experts who provide guidance on international trade topics, including export compliance, international logistics, global marketing, import requirements, international documentation and more. For more information, contact Heather DeMarco, 401-232-6409, hdemarco@bryant.edu.

World Trade Day

World Trade Day, held annually each May, is an opportunity for businesses to hear from industry professionals, local business executives and international trade experts on relevant international trade issues. This day-long event provides numerous opportunities for learning, discussion and networking with the goal of opening the doors to international trade.

International Professional Series

The International Professional Series provides an opportunity for trade professionals to enhance their knowledge of pertinent international business topics and prepare them for the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) Certification. This series of six seminars provides a platform for business professionals to expand their knowledge base, remain up-to-date on the latest trade issues, and learn best practices in six core areas: Global Business Management, Global Marketing, Global Supply Chain, Export Regulations, Import Regulation and Trade Finance.  Open to both new exporters as well as experienced international trade professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge base.

Bureau of Industry and Security “Complying with U.S. Export Regulations"

This two-day seminar, hosted by Bryant University, is presented by the U.S. Commercial Service BIS, which oversees export control regulations for commercial products.  Offered semi-annually at Bryant, this seminar attracts a national audience of international trade specialists who desire an in-depth understanding of U.S. export regulations. More details here.

Special Topics

The Center strives to offer seminars on current issues and relevant trade topics. Subscribe to the Center’s email list to receive regular updates on training events.

Working closely with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the State of Rhode Island, the Chafee Center organizes and leads several international trade events throughout the year.  Each activity is determined based on the needs and interests of the business community to encourage and promote international trade for local businesses and organizations. For more information, contact Kathy Therieau, 401-278-9139, katherine.therieau@commerceri.com

Trade Missions

International trade missions provide companies with customized meetings with potential trade partners in foreign countries that have been determined to offer opportunities for local businesses. Trade missions are particularly useful for first time exporters or companies that have had difficulty expanding into a particular market as the missions are designed to help identify distributors, agents, and/or end users in targeted markets.  Missions are turnkey solutions with the Chafee Center handling all details of the trip including transportation, translators and business meetings.

International Trade Shows

The Center coordinates Rhode Island participation at designated international trade shows to offer opportunities for specific target industries that benefit local businesses.  Additionally, the Center works with other New England states to host the Best of New England pavilion at specific events, as determined by the states.  The Best of New England pavilions offer an opportunity for smaller businesses to share in a large booth space with other companies.  This helps keep the costs for exhibiting down and also provides staff support throughout the process.

The Chafee Center works closely with other organizations and agencies to provide additional services to Rhode Island businesses.

STEP (State Trade Expansion Program)

STEP is a national export initiative through the U.S. Small Business Administration which grants matching funds to states to assist small businesses in entering and expanding into international markets.  The Chafee Center administers all RI STEP program awards, providing financial assistance and support to eligible RI small businesses with the goal of increasing the number of small businesses that export and to increase the value of exports by small businesses. Contact: Linda Woulfe,lwoulfe@bryant.edu, 401-232-6525.

U.S. Commercial Service

The U.S. Commercial Service offers trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy to help U.S. companies connect with lucrative business opportunities. Their programs are specifically designed to help U.S. businesses identify distributors, agents, and/or end users in foreign markets. Industry specialists located in American embassies and Consulates are available to identify and schedule meetings with potential business partners whose interests and objectives match those of the U.S. company.  Contact: Keith Yatsuhashi,  Keith.Yatsuhashi@trade.gov, (401) 528-5104.

FoodExport USA

FoodExport USA Northeast is a non-profit organization composed of the 10 Northeastern state agricultural promotion agencies and provides U.S. companies with programs and services needed to export and sell their products internationally.  The Chafee Center educates local food companies on the wide range of export support and funding that is available through this program. Contact: Kathy Therieau, katherine.therieau@commerceri.com, 401-278-9139.

EXIM Bank

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. Contact: Kathy Therieau, katherine.therieau@commerceri.com, 401-278-9139.

NETACC (New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center)

NETAAC was formed to aid New England manufacturing companies that have been negatively impacted by import trade. Qualifying businesses can receive financial assistance to help fund business-reviving initiatives. Call: 978-663-9870

The Chafee Center staff of business professionals is available to answer your questions, provide referrals, schedule a meeting, provide one-on-one consulting and guide your company to the appropriate resources and services that can support your company’s international trade needs.  Please feel free to reach out to any of our staff for assistance!

World Trade Day logo

World Trade Day in May

Join business professionals, government leaders, and trade experts for one of the region's largest trade conferences.

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Container ship

State Trade Expansion Program

STEP is a federally-funded grant managed by the Chafee Center to help eligible small businesses expand their international sales.

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Exterior signage of Chafee Center

Business Practica

Contact us about this unique opportunity to work with Bryant seniors, faculty and staff who can help your business grow.

Lighthouse on shore

Guidance entering US market

Multinational companies may contact the Center for customized assistance with market research and entry strategies.

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