ASTE Trade International – A Hillsborough County Success Story

Tuncay Esitmez launched ASTE Trade International, LLC. in 2009, a firm supplying construction materials, computer equipment and chemicals to private contractors serving the U.S. government overseas, and in just 12 months made nearly $300,000.

Esitmez’s 27-years as Chief Operations Officer and Supervisory Contract Administrator in the U.S. Air Force in Turkey provided him the contacts and necessary skills for selling products overseas, yet his vast experience in government purchasing couldn’t have single-handedly made his business a success.

Esitmez says that his success is the result of solid business tactics he developed by utilizing the free resources of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at USF, which not only enabled him to run day-to-day operations, but also develop strong ethics and best business practices that translate into repeat business. These principles enabled ASTE Trade International to conduct more than 100 export transactions and boast nine clients within the critical first year in which many businesses fail.

Tampa Company Exports to Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan with SBDC support

After retiring in October 2008, Tuncay came to the United States and quickly discovered his desire to start an exporting business. He turned to the Small Business Development Center at USF (SBDC) for expertise and began attending seminars and counseling with Certified Business Analyst (CBA), Maria Clara Yepes, for his international needs, as well as CBA Mario Iezzoni for assistance in launching the company and understanding taxation implications and business planning.

He is excited to attend the SBDC’s advanced International Trade Certified Program that kicks off spring 2011. This program is one of only 11 NASBITE International accredited trade assistance programs in the world and is the first in Florida. The program is taught by SBDC partners in the international trade community and SBDC international trade experts who are Certified Global Business Professionals.

“I don’t know how to express my feelings about the support given by Small Business Development Center,” said Esitmez. “I’ve always received superb guidance. My business plan is to continue to use SBDC services to help me expand my business to other international markets.”

The SBDC at USF is proud to assist local companies in any industry with all of their business needs by providing free counseling and training and low-cost seminars.