Woman- and Minority-Owned Small Business Uses EXIM’s Export Credit Insurance and Working Capital Guarantees to Increase Revenue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 21, 2021
Office of Communications (202) 565-3204
WASHINGTON – AKAS Textiles and Laminations (AKAS Tex), a woman- and minority-owned small business engaged in textiles design and manufacturing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, has been named an Exporter of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The company, which has used EXIM’s export credit insurance and working capital guarantee to support its international sales since 2013, was awarded today at EXIM’s 2021 Annual Conference being held virtually September 21-23.
“I am pleased to recognize AKAS Tex for its outstanding contributions to fulfilling EXIM ’s mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports,” said EXIM Acting Senior Vice President of Small Business and Vice President of Women- and Minority-Owned Business Outreach Tamara Maxwell. “Approximately 90 percent of EXIM’s authorizations directly support small businesses such as the exporters being awarded at the annual conference. We are dedicated to facilitating the exporting success of U.S. small businesses as they compete in the global marketplace and support American jobs at home.”
AKAS Tex was started in 2007 by Indian immigrants Sidharth and Archana Sharma, who moved to the United States to create a better life for their children, Karishma and Ashrey. AKAS—named for the four family members—is known for its eco-friendly, made-in-America fabrics used in top brands for absorbency, food safety, organics, athletic performance, protection, and more. The company partners exclusively with American textile mills for production, and its products are used in gear for U.S. armed forces and astronauts, among other applications. Last year, the company began making masks for domestic and international customers.
In 2013, AKAS Tex began using EXIM small-business financing products that helped the company to increase revenue by offering credit terms to its international customers and using working capital to fulfill export sales orders. As a result, customers ordered larger quantities of its fabrics due to access to credit terms of up to three months that enabled them to make and sell textile products and then pay AKAS Tex. The company’s export revenues increased from 5 percent to 15 percent, and the number of its customers increased to 180 in 60 countries and regions, including the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and South America.
“It is only due to EXIM’s support that we were able to substantially grow our exports. EXIM opened up the world for us to access new markets and opportunities. Their service is excellent, and they are invaluable for small businesses like ours. With EXIM backing us, I am confident in venturing into new markets. Thank you, EXIM!” said AKAS Tex CEO and Chief Storyteller Archana Sharma.
Since 2014, EXIM has supported a total of 213 exporters such as AKAS Tex across Pennsylvania, 143 of whom are small businesses, with a total export value of $6 billion.
U.S. companies, particularly small businesses, can utilize EXIM’s financing tools and resources to increase their international sales, showcase their “Made in the USA” products, and create and sustain American jobs. By partnering with EXIM, exporters can mitigate the risk of nonpayment on international sales, offer credit terms to foreign buyers, and access working capital loan guarantees. In addition, EXIM has implemented several COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions to enhance the agency’s existing programs.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.