Archive for the 'Contributors' Category

Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman

Laura_Fairman_bio_shot_nov2018

I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?” 

-Laura Fairman, Design and Technology Lead for wegg®

Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman! She has had the pleasure of being involved with our organization since wegg®’s inception in 2008. Our Communications Intern, Lucy Brooks, sat down with Laura to interview her. Check out our feature on Laura, to learn more about her, and what goes on behind the scenes at wegg® .

Lucy Brooks: How would you describe your position at wegg®? What do you oversee and do for the organization?

Laura Fairman: I have a unique relationship with wegg® because I work for wegg® as a contractor for design, art direction, project management and technology support. I am also a founding board member, serving on the board since 2015. My goal as a board member is to be the voice of design, guiding the organization toward supporting key design initiatives, like rebranding and launching a new website. At the same time, I’m always looking to strengthen the organization’s visual cohesiveness and continuity across their many print and digital offerings.

LB: What has your professional background been like? How did you come to work for wegg®?

LF: I’m a creative through and through. I graduated from Vanderbilt University as a Fine Arts major with a double minor in music and European studies. I began my career in the arts as a portrait painter, but swiftly moved into graphic and web design to supplement my passion with consistent work. In 2001, I began my own small business, Blue Canvas (bluecanvas.net). 17 years later, I’m still creating print and digital work for small- and mid-size businesses across many industries: medical practices, nutraceuticals, health and wellness, financial advisors, law firms, technology, trade shows and events, engineering, publishing, restaurants, and nonprofits.

Through a shared client, my path crossed with wegg®’s founder, Laurel Delaney. My earliest project with Laurel Delaney dates back to August of 2007, with the redesign of the Globe Trade website. This early site was developed entirely in html, and content management systems had not yet become the norm. A lot has changed in the digital space in the last decade! Clients are managing their website content entirely on their own, and they are constantly pushing new information to their audiences. To achieve this, they are relying heavily on social media outlets, creating video blogs, online community groups, and organizing live webinar presentations with 100s of attendees online. Websites used to be simply an extension of a business card. They have become the digital handshake for a company, where making a great first impression is paramount. It’s fun to see the evolution of the digital space, and Laurel is consistently folding the current trends into her businesses, particularly with wegg®.

LB: What part of wegg®’s mission, “To educate women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global, so they can run healthier businesses, and create a new future for themselves, their families and their communities,” resonates with you, and how does your work connect with, or support this mission?

LF: I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?

I have found joy working with non-profit organizations because they are doing good things, and because the leaders are so passionate about what they are trying to achieve. In wegg®’s case, the mission is to educate, and they are meeting this goal with the production of free monthly wegginars® on a variety of topics designed to help women business owners and execs improve their businesses, their communities, and their lives.

I have created the outreach graphics and participated as an organizer on over 30 wegginars®. Truth be told, I have been actively involved in every single wegginar®. I’m proud to be able to say that. Each of these wegginars® are available to watch on the wegg® website, so the work is continually giving back (and hopefully inspiring!)…and that feels great.

LB: What moves, projects, or strides do you hope wegg® takes in the coming year?

LF: wegg® is still in its founding years, and we have big plans ahead. In recent months we have been focusing on sharing expertise, and we are continually meeting this intended goal. What I’d like to see in the months to come is a focus on the women of wegg®. Let’s share the stories of those women that have been measurably impacted by the resources wegg® has provided them. I’d like to see wegg® do focus features and videos of these success stories.

The second part is to see this piece realized globally. Is there a woman-owned factory in India producing woven textiles and is now exporting these products globally because they’ve learned how to do so from wegg®? Has a woman from Bangladesh achieved success for her family and community because of a business connection she made through wegg®? We want to meet these women! And, I’d like to share these global stories of impact visually.

LB: What has been your most meaningful project to take on, event you have been apart of, or moment you have had during your time here?

LF: My personal goal was to help wegg® rebrand and build a global digital platform to aid them in achieving their education mission. Under my art direction, we launched the new logo at the beginning of 2018, and we are very close to realizing our goal of launching a new education-driven website. These two projects have been the most meaningful to me, because rather than stepping in and creating a brand, I helped guide and direct the process of wegg®’s new identity. I was able to connect wegg® with an incredibly talented designer from Seattle, Gabriel Lopez. Bringing the visual goals for wegg® to fruition has been a laborious process, but when you have great people on your team, like Gabriel and Laurel, who are willing to collaborate and put the time in, it makes the work worthwhile.

wegg® thanks Laura for sharing her story with us. She is an integral part of our team, and has helped our organization thrive. To learn more about what wegg® can do for you and your business, visit our website.
Registration is open and free for our 12/5 talk with Andrew Molinsky, Ph.D. He will talk about how, “if you are not outside your comfort zone, you won’t learn anything.” Register here.

Everything You Need to Know from Our wegginar® with Cristina Bandal

wegginar_NOV_2018_website

This past Wednesday, wegg® had the pleasure of hosting the Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS, Cristina Bandal. Bandal lead one of our free online wegginars®, which provide monthly, accessible education to women entrepreneurs everywhere. Bandal’s talk covered how to overcome the obstacles that people face when trying to sell their products to the global market. She also answered the questions of wegginar® participants. Read their inquiries, and her responses, below:

  1. What’s the single biggest challenge on why people don’t setup an online storefront?  Setting up an international store may sound complicated if you are thinking of creating a country site – but with only a few enhancements, you can make international customers feel at home. 
  2. What are your thoughts on how to factor in taxes, (shipping and duty), to price my products profitably, yet make them affordable to my customers?  With the solution available, your catalogue will provide the information needed to calculate a duty and tax, and offer a landed cost to your customers (and protect you from abandoned goods!)
  3. How does our current trade war with China impact the information presented in this wegginar®?  Whatever tariff regulations are passed are updated to protect the shipments.
  4. Is there a way to target one foreign market when I launch my e-commerce site so that I can test the waters?  YES!!  You can choose what countries to target.
  5. What’s the best way to setup a payment method, in your own currency or the customer’s?  International consumers would like to see their own currency to avoid surprises. By using the UPS i-parcel solution, you are protected by allowing transactions to be processed through UPS, and provide fraud protection.

To read Bandal’s extended answers to these questions, and more, you can view the full presentation (PDF) from the wegginar®, here. wegg® was honored to have Bandal share her experience and knowledge with us.

If you were not able to participate in this month’s wegginar®, we already have registration open for our 12/5 talk with Andrew Molinsky, Ph.D. He will talk about how, “if you are not outside your comfort zone, you won’t learn anything.” Register here.

WEGG Welcomes Lucy Brooks to our Communications Team

We are delighted to announce that Lucy Brooks has joined our WEGG team as a Communications Intern.  She will be responsible for editing written content, managing our social media accounts, and composing blog posts.

A little bit about Lucy:

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Lucy is currently a senior at Columbia College Chicago, studying Comedy Writing and Performance with a minor in Cultural Studies. Her areas of study center around analyzing and composing literature pertaining to Women and Gender Studies.

She is a copy writer, editor, and producer. Lucy has served as a Hospitality Intern at Cards Against Humanity LLC, and is the social media manager for the nonprofit organization ShopColumbia.

In her free time, you can see her performing her written work at various comedy theaters in Chicago. Lucy hopes to write content for a feminist publication, and aims to educate and empower women in everything she does.

Please join us in welcoming Lucy.  We are excited to have her with us, and look forward to her assistance with developing our writing, brand and web presence.

_______________________________________________________

Why go global?  How do you start?  Where can you find customers?  How do you get paid?  Find out these answers and learn other best-kept secrets to expanding a business globally. 

JOIN us for our first weggchat™ (#weggchat) Wednesday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central time on Take Your Business Global! and facilitated by Laurel Delaney, President of WEGG and founder of GlobeTrade.com.  Laurel will field questions and add insights on how to take a business global.  Small business owners can join the conversation by using the hashtag #weggchat to chime in with questions and answers.

Event is free of charge but you must use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation using the hashtag #weggchat.  See you there!
__________________________________________

Meet Our New Board of Directors for Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global (WEGG)

WEGGIn order to meet the needs of fast-growing women-led/owned business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself, we are changing the formal structure of WEGG and will announce more about it soon.  It takes a village to accomplish great things in our world so I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our new Board.  With International Women’s Day today, this is great time to feel proud to be a woman and for WEGG to make this announcement.  After all, the women of the world make it happen not just today, but everyday.

The following individuals have committed to building WEGG into an educational organization where every women business owner and entrepreneur can learn everything imaginable about how to take a business global — wherever she might be located.

Laurel Delaney

Laurel J. Delaney is founder and president of Chicago-based GlobeTrade.com, a management consulting company that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses go global. The United States Small Business Administration has recognized Ms. Delaney as a world-renowned global small business expert by naming her the Illinois Exporter of the Year. She is the author of … read more.

Laura Fairman

Laura Fairman is the Founder and Lead Designer of Blue Canvas, a web and graphic design consultancy. For 14 years Laura has enabled small and mid-size businesses to have confidence in all facets of their online and printed marketing.  Laura is motivated by … read more.

Patti Ross

Patricia Ross is President and Founder of Patricia Ross & Associates, Inc., a consulting company that provides one-on-one coaching to individuals who are interested in building key business relationships and strengthening their leadership skills. She helps clients create and implement a strategy for successful career growth.  Ms. Ross was formerly … read more.

Nancy Stachnik

While working her way through Mundelein College as a bank teller, Nancy discovered she had a knack for numbers. This led to a long and rewarding career as a community banker in Chicago. A seasoned veteran of the rollicking financial M&A … read more.

Kati Suominen

Dr. Kati Suominen is Founder and CEO of both the equity crowdfunding platform TradeUp Capital Fund and the trade research firm Nextrade Group, LLC.  She is also Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  She previously served as Fellow … read more.

A big welcome to these new Board members, each of whom brings the kind of intellect, creativity, commitment and energy that WEGG needs to to grow in the future.

Photo courtesy:  WEGG

 

Global Growth in Woman-Owned Small Businesses

Our very own WEGG contributor and tireless advocate to business owners worldwide, Karen Kerrigan (pictured), discusses what it’s like for women to operate businesses in Portugal and Morocco.

Woman-owned small businesses are growing globally, according to Karen Kerrigan who joins Jim Blasingame to report on her recent work with women entrepreneurs in Portugal and Morocco.

Listen up here.  Follow Karen on Twitter.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Global Women Entrepreneurs of Personality

personalitysuccesswegg

Do you think personality affects how successful you can become?  Women of Personality: 20 Inspiring Women And Their Stories Of Success takes a look at successful women entrepreneurs in business careers from the perspective of the influence of personality on their success.

And we are excited to learn that three of our WEGG contributors made the list!  They are as follows:

Anita Campbell, Editor and CEO, Small Business Trends LLC

Karen Kerrigan, CEO, Small Business Entrepreneurship Council and President and CEO, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc.

Dr. Marsha Firestone, President and Founder, Women Presidents’ Organization

Please join me in congratulating them.  We love their unique personalities and are inspired by their work.

Learn more here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

How Can You Get Customers Overseas?

wegg1Global business is now a part of our daily conversations. Yet when I think about the entrepreneurs I know (in the U.S.), I’m astonished at how few of them actually do any business across borders. And the few I do know tend to focus on outsourcing or overseas production – the expense side, if you will.

I can probably count on one hand the number that go global in search of revenues.

While I have a couple theories on why that may be (I’ll save that for another day), it got me thinking…how can an entrepreneur or business owner prospect for global customers? What are some low-budget methods to source new business? How can one lower the barriers of language and cultural differences to reach people in foreign countries? How can technology be used to save on hard costs like travel, and soft costs like learning curve, in order to get to know the marketplace?

In thinking about those questions, I came up with some ideas. I’d love to hear your feedback on these, and other ideas that you have, either through experience or through simple brainstorming.

  1. Use existing customers as “listening posts” and advocates. If you already have any customers abroad, contact them and try holding personal conversations via Skype or email. Ask them how to get more customers in their region/country, and if they will help you with the process (perhaps even give them an incentive). Find out what distribution channels are used in their region
  2. Find your competitors’ customers. Google your product/service in specific countries to see who the main competitors are. On their web sites, look for customer testimonials, case studies, etc. to identify prospective buyers of your product/service.
  3. Search for a local trade association. These organizations are in existence to promote and serve their particular industries, and will often go out of their way to help companies grow. They may have marketing opportunities, access to buyer lists/groups, and networking contacts.
  4. Use eBay, Facebook, and other social networking sites used in that region. The former is better to sell product, and the others are better for services. Not only can you use conventional listings or ads, but on Facebook you can also set up your own group/company account.
  5. Post videos on YouTube to explain your company’s products/services or for “how-to” processes. Videos can help build trust among people who don’t know you, demonstrate your expertise, and put a friendly face on your company.
  6. If you’re a B2B firm, ask current customers for referrals to overseas business units. Explain to your domestic customers that you are interested in pursuing global customers and if they have contacts in the company’s offices around the globe.
  7. If your product is purchased as a gift, offer overseas shipping. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I’m still surprised at how many e-commerce sites will state that they only deliver to nearby countries. Yes, there are customs issues and higher shipping costs to deal with, but when it comes to gifts (when people often buy on emotion, not to fill a need), customers may not mind paying extra.

I would love to hear about other sales and marketing tactics to cultivate business overseas. What experiences have you had that either worked or didn’t? What ideas do you have that other entrepreneurs might want to consider?

Either comment here or email me at rchadha [at] depaul [dot] edu.

Posted by Raman Chadha – Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, DePaul University

Meet Our WEGG Contributors

brainsbehindwegg20091

It is with great honor and excitement that I introduce our lineup of Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) contributors – all considered consequential thought leaders in their respective fields — who will be generously sharing their expertise and knowledge with us.

Please join me in welcoming …

Sharon Barner, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends LLC

Raman Chadha, Executive Director of the Depaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and on the faculty of the highly ranked academic program in entrepreneurship

Linda Darragh, Director of entrepreneurship programs for the Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization

Suzy Fox, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, HRER, Loyola University Chicago — primary research interests center around the well-being of employees in the global workplace

Dawn Harris, Ph.D., Director, Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, Loyola University Chicago

Mary Joyce, Network Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Midwest Export Assistance Centers

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc.

Steve King, Founding Partner, Emergent Research

Carolyn Ockels, Founding Partner, Emergent Research and Small Business Labs

Leslie Schweitzer, Senior Trade Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Creator of the TradeRoots Initiative

And special thanks to Rosa Berardi, Program Manager, The Coleman Foundation (a WEGG partner), for her support and guidance thus far.

Watch for future posts from these contributors and stay tuned for more new thought leaders as we build out WEGG.


WEGG Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.


Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID #47-2956522.

Donate Your Gift Card to WEGG!

Not know what to do with your Starbucks or Target Gift Card?  Put it to good use.  Exchange it for a donation to WEGG!  You will receive a tax receipt for the entire full value or any unused balance of your card.
Laurel Delaney's Global Trade Trends Report 2019
WEGG news sign up
wegg workshop in September
WEGG linkedIn group

Join 2,048 other followers

Categories

Archives

Ask a Question

Honors & Awards

Use Smile Amazon and WEGG receives a .05% donation from Amazon on eligible purchases.

Copyright Notice

©2008-2018 Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global.
All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: