Archive for the 'Event' Category

President and CEO Julie Smolyansky on “Following Your Gut”

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This past Wednesday September 12th, President and CEO of Lifeway Kefir, Julie Smolyansky lead a wegg® workshop about the importance of following your gut on business and personal endeavors. Her inspiring talk covered the journey of Lifeway beginning in her parent’s basement, in the mid-eighties, when they began making Kefir, a food inspired by their home country, the former Soviet Union.  It is now a $120 million publicly-traded company, thanks to Julie. She grew Lifeway to the size it is now, without a business degree, and became CEO at age 27, when her father suddenly passed away. Smolyansky shared the story of how one of her father’s friends reacted when he died and she was made CEO…

“[He said] ‘forget it, the company is done. Sell all of your stock tomorrow. There’s no way a 27 year old girl could run a company.’ This is done. Lifeway is over…I go into the office Monday morning…and everyone had sold their stock….It was devastating…[I] picked my head up and moved forward. Then, we had 70 people, today we have 320. We’ve grown our business from 12 million to 120 million…We continued to execute on the strategy we believed in, and continued to follow our gut, and worked really really hard….That man who said ‘she’s never gonna do it,’…I literally think about him every day. I say ‘thank you’, ‘thank you so much for underestimating me, for pissing me off, and making me angry…You gave me the fuel to move forward.”

Smolyansky went on to describe how being a young CEO became a strength for her. She followed her gut and made Lifeway one of the first businesses ever to have an active social media presence. She explained, “We were ahead of the game…Vogue called us ‘avant garde’ for being on social media.”

She also shared her beliefs on the importance of female entrepreneurship,

“If women were employed at the same rates as men, we know the global GDP would rise exponentially…That I think is really important. A rising tide raises all ships, and when women create jobs, an entire community is more safe and stable….Women are the key to saving the world…Entrepreneurship…can heal the world.”

Other inspiring takeaways from Smolyansky’s talk…

  • Keep moving ahead no matter what your challenges are in life.
  • Make a big impact:  it only takes one person one step at a time to change the world.
  • Follow your gut (we should all listen to our intuition on important matters in life).

Thank you to Julie, and her team, Justine and Maria, for making our on-the-ground wegg® workshop a success.  And thank you to Bank of America, Moji Eagan and Aneta Mazur, for hosting us.

If you were not able to make this wegg® workshop, we are having a wegginar® on Wednesday, October 3rd with Katie Kollhoff, CEO, NUMIX.  She’ll present on “Small Startup, Big Impact.”  Thanks to our sponsors, IBM, UPS, Bank of America and GlobalCare Clinical Trials, the program is no charge but you must register to attend, here.

Super Success: The WEGG+ICNC Export Workshop Held at KOVAL Distillery

Thank you to all who attended our super successful WEGG+ICNC Export Workshop hosted at KOVAL Distillery in Chicago, September 19, 2017. Participants learned what it takes to successfully sell products overseas. The photos are for your enjoyment.

We are already at work planning our next on-the-ground WEGG workshop — stay tuned.  Meanwhile, thank you to our sponsors:  UPS, IBM and BAL.  Without their support, this program would not have been possible.  And thank you to all of you for your continued interest, support and enthusiasm to our mission.

Up next?  See below.  Learn insights from expert Stephanie Lewin on what you can and can’t do on global business travel these days.

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGGinar™ 10/11/17 on “Navigating Global Business Travel in 2017,” and presented by Stephanie Lewin, Global Immigration Attorney at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP (www.balglobal.com).  Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6874264726093775875.
Event is free of charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global Export Workshop in Chicago 11/9

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Don’t miss our first on-the-ground WEGG Export Workshop held at the Polsky Exchange (formerly Chicago Innovation Exchange) on Wednesday, November 9th from 9:30 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. (noon). You will hear from Lisa Bitsky, President, Automated Design Corp. and winner of the Exporter of the Year award, as she shares how she took her company global.

We’ll also take a short tour of the Polsky Exchange to see first hand what innovation and inspiration looks like when it comes to business creation.

To learn more and to register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wegg-workshop-on-exporting-tickets-25724870781. Registration: $20. Students: $10. First 10 students who sign up attend no-charge thanks to a generous donor.  Coffee, tea and muffins will be served.

upssmalllogoSpecial thanks to IBM and UPS for their sponsorship and support to this event.

See you there!

How to Finance Your Global Growth

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Our WEGG Board member, Chantal Wittman, V.P. International Trade Sales, MB Financial Bank, wrote a great article on “How to Finance Your Global Growth.”  You can access it here.  One tip she shares:

“Today most U.S. export sales are made to private sector buyers in both developing and developed markets. Ex-Im Bank and private sector credit insurance policies can be used to protect the risk of non-payment from foreign buyers, while extending payment terms that can range from a few days to five years, or longer. These insurance policies can also be assigned to U.S. banks to allow for advances on foreign receivables.”

Read more:  “How to Finance Your Global Growth

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next_up_13July_2016_wegginarNote: Don’t miss our next WEGG webinar 7/13 on “China Exports: Growing Brand Recognition Locally First,” and presented by expert Nicole àBeckett, President of Mercatura Global. Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1045496295028407041. Event is no charge but you must register in advance to attend.

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And one more thing!  If you are based in Chicago, don’t miss a great LIVE event on July 13th  where one of our past WEGG presenters, Louise Kern, will be discussing Saving Your #$%:  Due Diligence in International Transactions.  To find out more and to register, visit: http://calendar.itagc.org/docs/ITAGC_Calendar_8255.pdf (fee involved).  Be sure to mention WEGG when you register to get your special discount.

Screenshot courtesy:  MB Financial

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

Women First in Global Economy

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The International Women Entrepreneurs Forum (IWEF) brings together women entrepreneurs from around the world.  The current program started in Istanbul and runs until today – May 4th. The panelists reflected on the role of women in the global economy and Turkish economy.

“One million new jobs have been added to the Turkish economy in Turkey, 500,000 of them are for women, which is great for Turkey to grow because the more women are employed the more productive our country becomes,” says Mehmet Büyükekşi, President of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly.

Learn more about the three-day IWEF program and get involved here.

Photo courtesy:  jikatu

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Florida Has It Right: Helping Women Business Owners Export

EXPORTINGtheWORLD

The Florida Women’s Business Center will present a breakfast seminar this Tuesday, February 5th to help local businesses identify resources to take their products and services global such as through trade missions, grants and export assistance.

Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will address the conference, which also will feature a panel and talks byBusinessWomenROCK representatives from the Small Business Administration, Enterprise Florida and the Department of Commerce.

The seminar starts 8:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Hotel in Boca Raton (U.S. 75.00 fee).

For more information and to register visit:  Florida Women’s Business Center News

Illustration credits:  Florida Women’s Business Center News

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Men: Step Up in High Heels For a Global Cause

What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes, especially a woman’s in high heels?  Well men, listen up and get walking!

The KL Global Walk will be held on Father’s Day (June 19) near Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The event is part of The Global “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” Day (globalwalkamileday.thepixelproject.net) in conjunction with The Pixel Project’s Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign.

The global cause:  To end violence against women.

Learn more here.

Illustration credit here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney


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.

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