Archive for January, 2010

How Women Entrepreneurs Fare Worldwide

Why study women entrepreneurs worldwide?  It sheds light on wealth creation, employment choices, human capital, labor market dynamics, family dynamics, employment, business creation and world peace says Maria Minniti, holder of the Bobby B. Lyle Chair in Entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School of Business.  She takes stock of what has been learned so far about female entrepreneurship, and what more needs to be done.

The study of women entrepreneurs reveals new trends. Over the period 1975-1995, female self-employment grew by 60% compared to only a 20% increase for men. Recent data from the Center for Women’s Business Research showed that, between 1997 and 2002, women in the United States have formed new businesses at twice the national rate. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project, a program of study about entrepreneurs world-wide, has shown a significant amount of female startup activity around the globe.

Read more about Professor Minniti’s comprehensive paper here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

How To Sell To More Than 1.7 Billion People

Conducting business online with customers worldwide doesn’t have to be complicated.  It merely requires the discipline of reviewing ten factors to consider before you go global to make sure you have everything covered.

Here’s a snapshot of Factor No. 1:

  1. Get a company-wide commitment. Every employee should be a vital member of the world team, from the executive suite to customer service through engineering, purchasing, production, and shipping.

Read more here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors

The potential of women entrepreneurs constitutes an underdeveloped source of economic growth and of new jobs. They represent, on average, 30 per cent of entrepreneurs in the European Union but often face greater difficulties than men in starting up businesses and in accessing finance and training.

Help is on the way.  Introducing …  the new European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors, whose goal is to boost the rate of women business activity across Europe.

The “Ambassadors” will share their experiences of becoming and being a businesswoman at promotional events and act as role models to inspire women to become entrepreneurs.

Did you know?

There are 23 million SMEs in Europe with an average size of five persons. They represent two-thirds of the total employment (that is more than 100 million jobs) and 99,8 per cent of all enterprises.

Learn more here and here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

A Halo For Haiti

Let’s circle together like a band of global angels to do what we can individually or collectively to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Contribute here (no donation is too small):

American Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders

Haiti Earthquake Relief (video)

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Additional resources:

Facts on Haiti (including update on the earthquake)
Embassy of Haiti in Washington D.C.
Embassy of the United States Port Au Prince Haiti

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Globally, Blue Is the New Black

We were on to blue is the new black in design well before the Avatar movie. Check out our Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) logo against the new global movie Avatar. (Caution … read movie review at your own discretion … could be disturbing.)

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Hansiba Goes Global

Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), names its apparel brand Hansiba, after a 92 year old woman, and takes it global.

Hansiba is 92 years old but her capacity for work can put a young athlete to shame. An average day in her life begins at 5 in the morning when she attends to the cattle. She milks the buffaloes, does the house work, cooks for the family, walks 2 km to the farm and back, runs the charkha for 2-3 hours, and does some ‘bharatkaam’ (embroidery) — all this in a day’s work.

Learn more about Hansiba and her story to see how this remarkable woman has emerged as an international fashion icon and is now something of a brand ambassador for Gujarat’s traditional handicrafts industry here.

Photo:  SEWA’s Hansiba Store (Secretary Clinton is visiting)

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Explore Overseas Production Partners

Four businesswomen from Bee Inspired, LLC — a company that spreads inspirational messages, motivational thoughts, and positive actions throughout the world — share experience about taking their company global. They successfully launched their first product and globally sourced the main components in less than one year.  Conducting international business can indeed be challenging but as they women point out, that if you lead with passion, resourcefulness and determination, absolutely no challenge is insurmountable.

One of the questions addressed:  How did your company get involved in international business?

Sue Dickinson: After talking with several local manufacturers, we soon realized domestic production costs would keep us from pricing the product competitively. So in order to get to a lower price point we went to and explored foreign production partners. We connected with a manufacturer in India and worked through all the details, specifications and quality over e-mail and the Internet.  Actually, we never even spoke to our contact on the phone until after we imported our first 500 units. In a relatively short time frame, they delivered the products we specified, at the quality level we required, and at the right cost.

Learn more and PURCHASE here.


In less than a year this group of ladies took an idea, made global connections and launched their first product—and a promising international company. They make it look simple by leveraging local and global resources along with technology. Visit to learn more about Bee Inspired and how Greater Lansing is going global.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Despite Global Recession, Woman’s Winery Is Expanding

Norma Ratcliffe (pictured) is the first female winemaker to become commercially successful in South Africa.  She is from Edmonton and seen as one of the pioneers of contemporary South African winemaking, an industry that has boomed globally in the post-apartheid years.

The company she runs, Warwick Estate, has gained recognition as one of the best wineries (one of their labels pictured above) in the world, with its products often landing in the annual top 100 lists of leading wine magazines. Even in the midst of a global recession, her winery is expanding.

Think Norma had experience before starting her business and taking it global?  Guess again.

Lacking any background in the wine business, Ms. Ratcliffe started at the bottom. She studied the Afrikaans language, took classes in winemaking, pored through books, bought second-hand equipment, learned to fix pumps and patch leaks in barrels and worked for months at a wine cellar in the Bordeaux region of France. In 1984, she released the first Warwick vintage, a cabernet sauvignon, which became an instant hit.

Learn how she does it here.  Visit her blog here.

Toast to Warwick’s success and to 2010!

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

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