Archive for the 'Contributors' Category

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

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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

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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 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.
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