NASBITE was originally established in 1988 as the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators. The early 1980s saw a strong emerging movement to place international trade education in a more prominent position in colleges, universities, and various public service institutions. Many programs were begun, mostly housed at educational institutions, world trade centers, chambers of commerce, and other trade-related groups. In addition, Small Business Development Centers, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, were beginning to join the groundswell of activity.
By 1986, John Otis, founding director of Oregon’s statewide program, decided it would be a good idea to invite all SBDC-, university-, and chamber-based international trade programs from throughout the country to a conference in Oregon. The conference, held in Portland in May 1988, sponsored by the Portland SBDC program, Seattle Community College, and the SBA, attracted 130 attendees from 30 states and Puerto Rico. The format for the conference was so successful that it became the basis for future NASBITE conferences.
A National Steering Committee was soon formed. Planning sessions were held in St. Paul, MN to develop the new organization and the next conference. At the end of two days, NASBITE (National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators) was born, six standing committees were formed, the mission statement developed, five major objectives were crafted, and an editor for the first newsletter was appointed.
In 1992, NASBITE was awarded tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. In 2000, NASBITE embarked on a new mission to develop a professional credential that would raise the level of practice in the field, provide professional development goals, and showcase competency.
Over the next several years, Jim Foley, from Bradley University, led the effort to develop the NASBITE CGBP (Certified Global Business Professional) credential. NASBITE contracted with Professional Examination Service (PES) to create the body of knowledge and a test protocol. In cooperation with numerous federal and state government and corporate partners, as well as the Centers for International Business, Education, and Research (CIBERs), and practitioners. the NASBITE CGBP™ credential was developed and on March 20, 2005 the first credentialing exam was given.
To reflect the expansion of partners worldwide, NASBITE became NASBITE International in 2006. The new name was adopted to better reflect the expanded population of global business professionals being served by NASBITE, beyond small business and educators. To date, over 2,000 candidates have received the credential.
In 2016, NASBITE selected a new management firm, Stringfellow Management Group (SMG), an accredited Association Management Company based near Baltimore, Maryland, to provide day-to-day management of organization operations, conference planning, CGBP exam and recertification support, and Board of Governors management.
NASBITE International marked the passing in July 2015 of one of its founding members, Barbara Moebius. With affection and respect she came to be known as Mother NASBITE in tribute to her determined and enthusiastic work to develop and lead the organization along with a core number of other founding members. She was a visionary global trade educator who served NASBITE in many capacities including President and an Officer of the Board. Read more about Barb here. Contributions to the Barbara Moebius Memorial Scholarship fund will help fund a global trade student or academic professional to attend NASBITE International activities. All donations are tax deductible.