The PCC Small Business Development Center is proud of the great work all of their clients are accomplishing in their businesses. Our Business Profile feature series highlights businesses at all stages of development and success.
Business: GreenDash, LLC
Owner: Wei Chen
Start Date: July 10, 2014
Tell us about your business.
We specialize in introducing a healthy western lifestyle to Chinese consumers by not only bringing high quality Oregon food products and other health products to China, but also by educating Chinese consumers on healthy eating and healthy living. GreenDash LLC provides export and distribution services to and in the Chinese market.
What inspired you to start your business?
There is a rapidly growing demand by Chinese consumers for safe, reliable, and sustainably produced food products, and there is a desire by many producers in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to enter the Chinese market to help meet that demand. However, there is currently no reliable, local partner for small Oregon companies to work with to represent and distribute their products in China, which will soon become the largest food import market in the world. We are in a good place to build a bridge between the two markets because we have well connected experienced people on both sides.
Before coming to the SBDC, what were you struggling with in your business?
As food import and export is heavily regulated, I wanted to make sure that we are completely in compliance. However, food export is a new area to me, so I had millions of questions. There is a lot of information available online, but sometimes it is hard to find the information that is most relevant and accurate. I also needed to build up my network quickly to get the business off the ground.
What types of services did you receive?
The services I received from the center were phenomenal. Everyone is so eager to help small businesses like ours to grow. I got a lot of guidance in export compliance and how to expand my network. I was also introduced to Oregon Department of Agriculture who has been very helpful to our business as well.
How did the services help you overcome your challenges?
The staff at the center not only answered all my questions with great patience, but proactively gave me suggestions in areas that I didn’t even think about such as how to select freight forwarders, which books to read to quickly acquire the knowledge base needed. They recommend me to go to Expo West, which turned out to be a great idea.
Why were the services helpful to you?
The services are helpful to me in two ways:
1) just knowing the availability of such service in the community boosts my confidence because new small businesses sometimes feel lonely and helpless, but the support that center provides makes us feel that we have someone to turn to for advices when we are lost.
2) The level of professionalism of the services that I received and the thoughtfulness in all the answers has helped me to run the business much more effectively.
How is your business doing now?
We have just shipped our first order to China. We have signed exclusive agreement with several west coast suppliers, and will be representing them at the largest food trade show in China this fall. We are confident and hopeful that with so much resources and support from the community our business should have a bright future.