Accept and Deal With Challenges: Global Success Will Come Your Way

Screenshot:  Linda Bi, President, Chicago Expert Importers

Screenshot: Linda Bi, President, Chicago Expert Importers

It’s clear that thanks to technology and the Internet, all businesses are becoming global.  That’s what Linda Bi, President of Chicago Expert Importers (CEI) says in the Chicago Sun-Times article (6/28/15).  CEI is a top importer of casting components in the mobile home/RV axle manufacturing industry. Over the years, Bi expanded the business into areas including, but not limited to: sporting goods and forklift- and school-bus components, to importing parts to also providing sourcing, logistics and warehousing and distribution, leading the 17-employee company to $40 million in yearly revenue — a sixfold increase from where it stood when Bi’s husband died 15 years ago.  Bi’s tip for success:  “Accept and deal with the challenges.”

Screenshot:  Shea Soucie, co-owner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. (Chicago)

Screenshot: Shea Soucie, co-owner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. (Chicago)

Shea Soucie is another prime example of women leading the charge in global trade.  Soucie is co-owner of the custom residential design firm Soucie Horner, Ltd., at 208 W. Kinzie St. in River North (Chicago), started a new business, SHIIR to import fine rugs and decorative carpets and sell them across the country and worldwide.  The company started exporting in 2013 to specific clients, such as a hotel in Delhi, India, and a super-yacht that travels the world.  Soucie’s tip for success:  “Look for female mentors in groups like the Women Presidents’ Organization — womenpresidentsorg.com.”

In the same Chicago Sun-Times article, WEGG is mentioned:

Only 12 percent of businesses that export are owned by women, which shows there’s room for growth, says Laurel Delaney, executive director of Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global, a new nonprofit organization that aims to boost the number of women business owners in exporting.

Read the entire article:  Women At Work:  ‘All Business Becoming Global,’ Chicago Importer Says

Promoting the Spirit of Enterprise and Women Entrepreneurs

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Saudi Arabia-based King Khalid Foundation and TRACCS signed a strategic partnership agreement to launch the Jeddah Entrepreneurship Meet and Competition. The competition opens doors for all budding entrepreneurs to present their ideas or existing business modules to be eligible for its mentorship and funding program.

The Jeddah Entrepreneurs Meet and Competition is an entrepreneurial development and sustainability promoting platform open for women across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to present innovative business ideas or existing businesses within three categories: social entrepreneurship, manufacturing and production and educational and lifestyle development.

Apply online here.  Learn more here.

Women Entrepreneurs: Be Bold, Be Brave, Fail Fast and Move On

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In Australia’s startup ecosystem, only 4.3% of startups are owned by women. Despite the fact that companies owned by women bring in 12% higher revenue on average, only 3-5% of female owned businesses receive venture capital.

What’s the reason for Aussie women not pursuing high-growth companies at an equal rate as their male counterparts?  StartUp Victoria’s (Twitter handle here) Female Founders’ committee member Richenda Vermeulen shares her take on the most popular reasons below.

Her first is to be bold and brave but I added fail fast and move on because without failure, you most likely are not taking risks or innovating.  When you trip up, you recover, learn your lesson and move on without missing a beat.

Are Female Entrepreneurs Set Up to Fail?

Women and Global Trade

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The Obama Administration is committed to boosting global trade for women entrepreneurs and business owners.  They also want to create new export opportunities for them.  Here’s why:

  • Pay more. Average pay at women-owned exporters is approximately 1.6 times higher than average pay at non-exporting female-owned businesses. This “exporter premium”—the amount by which exporters pay more than non-exporters—is larger than the equivalent premium for male-owned businesses, suggesting that increasing export participation by women-owned businesses may be one route to higher middle-class incomes.
  • More productive. Women-owned businesses that export are, on average, over 3.5 times more productive than women-owned businesses that do not export. In addition, women-owned exporters are also about 1.2 times more productive on average than male-owned exporters.
  • Hire more. Women-owned businesses that export employ an average of 42 people, compared to just 8 employees on average at their non-exporting counterparts.
  • Earn more. Women-owned businesses that export report average sales of $16.3 million, compared to $816,000 in average sales for women-owned businesses that do not export.

WEGG will play a major role in raising the number of women exporters.

To learn more about the Obama Administration’s mission to encourage women to participate in the U.S. and global economy, visit:  Women and Trade

Women: An Untapped Global Economic Potential

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According to the International Labor Organization, there are 812 million women living in developing countries with the potential to contribute more fully to their economies. Furthermore, in emerging markets, supporting women to be entrepreneurial, not to mention globally entrepreneurial, helps reduce poverty for women, their families and their communities.

And yet, according to Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the Gender GEDI (Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index) found that in nearly three quarters of the 30 countries surveyed, conditions for female entrepreneurship and business growth were unfavorable.  That’s where WEGG will be stepping in to make a difference.

Along with GEW, we will drive a worldwide movement to engage, support and train female entrepreneurs to take their businesses global.  Watch for more news on this coming soon.

Meanwhile, pay a visit to GEW to see how you might get involved in their women’s entrepreneurial push November 16-22, 2015.

Jack Ma Gets It: Women Are a Driving Force in our Global Economy

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Women are a driving force in our global economy.  That’s part of the reason we started WEGG back in 2008!  Jack Ma, founder of China-based e-commerce platform Alibaba, recently announced to the world his support for women and youth entrepreneurs, and said that they were the driving force behind his “She Era” conference that he organized in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, on May 20.

Ma said this:

“The world will become more beautiful in terms of women’s engagement.”

Beautiful may not be the only word to describe the contributions women are making not just in China but the rest of the world.  In China alone, for example, more than half of online stores are opened by full-time housewives, especially on Alibaba’s business-to-customer platforms including Taobao.com and Tmall.com.

At WEGG, we believe the world will become more prosperous and healthier as a result of women’s contributions worldwide.  You watch.  WEGG is on a mission to prove it. And we have every intention to reach out to Jack Ma for support.

Screenshot courtesy:  Yibada

If Women Think They Can Succeed at Exporting, They Will

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Before the Internet, women had a difficult time getting access to markets and networking or finding like-minded individuals with whom they could end their isolation, share challenges, and gain access to strategic information. Now, however, there are hundreds of women-centric online community forums readily available and designed specifically for women business owners who desire to connect with women the world over, acquire knowledge, develop enriching relationships, and keep learning and growing.

There has never been a better time to be a woman entrepreneur on a global scale.  In the future, you will see greater efforts put into helping women succeed in the global marketplace because if women think they can succeed at it and are supported, they will.  WEGG will play a major role in making that happen.

Learn more:  Issues Confronting Women Business Owners Who Currently Export or Plan to Export

Photo Credit: Reinhard Schuldt (Brigitte Schuldt) 

Women Business Owners Help America Succeed

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Though certain pockets of the country have higher levels of female entrepreneurship than others, research by the Center for Women in Business and supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation shows that any community with determination can build a supportive network for its local women-owned businesses. Women are working tirelessly to export, create jobs, solve problems, and strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness. It is clear that when communities help women in business succeed, they ultimately help America succeed as well.

It is no surprise then that the face of entrepreneurship is changing:

Over the last 15 years, women-owned firms have grown by one and a half times the rate of other small enterprises and now account for almost 30 percent of all businesses. Additionally, one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.

Further, as women-owned and women-led enterprises scale up their businesses, they will ultimately serve national and international markets in unique and groundbreaking ways.  WEGG will play a key role in helping women grow globally.

Read the report … Women-Owned Businesses Carving a New American Business Landscape

Screenshot courtesy:  Women-Owned Businesses report


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