What a wonderful opportunity to be asked to moderate a panel discussion, “Intentional Growth Beyond Borders,” at the recent 2023 Entrepreneurial Excellence Forum (EEF) hosted by the Women Presidents Organization in Vegas from May 10 – 12th. What a turnout! But before I get to that, for those that don’t know, wegg® is a partner to the WPO largely because of the longstanding relationship I’ve [Laurel Delaney] had with them when, in 2003, I became their WPO Chicago Chapter Chair.
Back to the 2023 EEF, WPO hosted more than 800 dynamic women entrepreneurs and business owners at the forum to network, learn and grow together. And that we did. Our “Intentional Growth Beyond Borders” discussion comprised of two guest speakers: international trade experts Caroline Tompkins (pictured right), President and CEO, Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), and Laura Didyk (pictured left), Vice President, Client Diversity, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). We engaged our attendees, allowed for questions, and learned from all who participated. Here are the questions we addressed:
- What does intentional exporting mean? (We then queried the attendees with what intentional exporting means to them, meaning, was it really “intentional?” Or was it “accidental” or “reactive?”)
- What are some differences and similarities between doing business in the United States and Canada?
- What are the top challenges/barriers do you see businesses facing when trying to expand into new foreign markets?
- What does export readiness mean?
- What are the key aspects to developing a healthy export plan?
- What is the value of having an export plan? What internal needs can you identify by having an export plan? And, how can the plan be used over time?
At the end, Caroline and Laura offered their best tip concerning intentional growth beyond borders and shared a few resources to tap into for international growth. Pay a visit to their organizations to learn more: FITT and BDC.
A big shout out and thanks to Judy Walk-Pearce and Megan McDonough from WPO for their help in making this program a success!