Archive for the 'World entrepreneurship' Category

Turning Your Passion into a Global Brand

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wegg® wants to help women everywhere transform their passions into global brands. Making the dreams of women entrepreneurs a reality is wegg®’s purpose. We are here for you. 

You might be wondering, “How could anyone change their hobby into an international business?” Well, we recently read about one woman’s success story in this Forbes article.

Becky Burns, a woman living in Kauai, founded Anahola Granola  as a cross between her love of healthy food and Hawaii. Much like you would expect, the initial development of her business was a huge risk. This risk did not prevent Burns from maintaining the original vision that her brand was founded on, as she strived to go global. She explains,

“I had to be crazy starting a granola business on Kauai in 1986. At that time, the only people who ate granola were a few hippies that made their own. But I was motivated by the people who loved Anahola Granola, who said, ‘Your granola is so good you should sell it.’ Some of those people bought a small bag every week. I couldn’t stop making the stuff; I thought, ‘What would my new fans eat?’ Obviously, I wasn’t motivated by crunching numbers and looking at the bottom line. It was never about the money. My vision of making granola was 100% clear…I never wavered from my direction, never overthought my plan.”

Burns’ focus on the purpose of her business was a key to her success. Not getting discouraged, and keeping the people she wanted to serve in mind, is a lesson that we can all learn from. Burns illustrates her process and mission,

“My core value was getting a healthy and delicious granola out to people. I love people and love making people happy. My product had to taste, smell and feel delicious. I valued the best ingredients I could find, making food that I would want to eat. It may sound corny, but to me, Anahola Granola is more than food, it embodies everything I care about: Hawaiian heritage, healthy food, respect for people and an experience of the extraordinary place found in Hawaii.”

Becky Burns is an excellent example of a woman who was able to take something she loved, and turn it into her full-time job. wegg® wants to help you do the same.

One upcoming resource that could answer any questions you might have is our weggchat™  on 2/6/2019, with Kiesque CEO, Jacqueline Smith. The FREE event will cover, “Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global.” More information can be found here

Why Women Don’t Start Businesses and How wegg® Can Help

In 2019, wegg® wants to help all women entrepreneurs, from the seasoned to the aspiring, achieve their business ambitions. We can help you go global, and assist with the obstacles that usually prevent women from reaching their full business potential.

What are some of the barriers women face when trying to start an entrepreneurial career, that wegg® aims to alleviate? Glad you asked.

In a recent report from The Economic Times, a group of women in India were polled on the reasons that they are not able to start their own independent businesses. The Times states,

“Of the homemakers who aspire to start their own business or pursue a hobby to make money, 69 per cent said the greatest barrier was lack of sufficient funds, 63 per cent said home responsibilities took up most of their time, 39 per cent said it was lack of guidance and 36 per cent reported that it was a lack in confidence.”

When the women were asked about what kinds of solutions would aid them in overcoming the aforementioned obstacles, the results were,

“62 per cent said it was financial/funding support, while 51 per cent said they needed self-confidence or counseling the most.”

Enter wegg®. We provide FREE monthly webinars that cover a varying array of topics. At these events, “wegginars®,” we have an entrepreneurial expert present on a business subject of their choice, combined with a participant Q&A. Anyone around the world can participate in these accessible events, and all at no charge. Get a head start on your resolutions this year, and let wegg® help you take your business to new heights.

Registration is open and free for Laurel Delaney’s 1/9 talk. She will present her annual global trade trends report 2019.  Join us. Register here.

Teach a Woman to Fish & Go Global, and You’ll Feed Her & Her Business for a Lifetime

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Everyone knows the classic adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

But wegg® knows, “Give a woman a fish, and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish and go global, and you feed her and her business for a lifetime.” This idea is the essence of wegg®’s mission: “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.”

Our goal as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is to teach the women entrepreneurs of the world how to take their businesses global, and we are always thrilled to hear about the triumphs of women entrepreneurs around the world. Recently, we read a New York Times article covering the reform of Rwanda’s fishing industry, from an exclusively male world, to a community of women entrepreneurs. Author Shannon Sims describes the change,

“The intense physical work and danger that comes with fishing on Lake Kivu, along with reinforcement from traditional gender roles, kept women from fishing for generations, tending to backyard farms instead. But in post-genocide Rwanda, that seems to be changing. Today, women form an essential part of the national market for Lake Kivu fish. Besides fishing on the lake at night, women also gather along the shores in the early morning to buy the fish the fisherwomen deliver. They then haul those fish home to their small villages, or sell the fish to cooperatives.”

This newfound emphasis of women on the business side of Rwanda’s fish economy has inspired the development of Projet Pêche, a fishing cooperative made up of 87 women, in Kibuye, a town along the banks of Lake Kivu. This collective has had a supremely positive impact on the lives of Rwandan women. Just listen to one woman, Bonifrida Mukabideri’s, account,

“A lot of women have used the cooperatives to fight poverty. Here in Rwanda we now have the idea that women and men can do every job…Now a woman can say: ‘I can build a house by myself. I can look after my family properly. And even if my husband dies, we can live a better life.’”

wegg® would love to help global women entrepreneurs like Mukabideri feed themselves, their families, and their communities for a lifetime…by fostering an expanding global business that thrives for generations. For more information on the resources wegg® has to offer women entrepreneurs, check out our education page.

 

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

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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.

Make Your Global Online Shoppers Feel at Home Wherever They Are

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Registration is still open for our FREE November 7th, 2018 wegginar®, with presenter Cristina Bandal, Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS.

Cristina has an extensive career with UPS, working within the marketing functions. She has worked with merchants in the retail and high tech industries. Cristina makes customer experiences valuable, by improving the shopper’s experiences. Her most recent assignment helps enable merchants to sell outside the US through UPS technology.

If 95% of the worlds population lives outside the US, why are some merchants still only selling to the domestic market? Complex rules, costly risks and high transportation costs make it difficult for small businesses to merge into new markets. UPS i-parcel not only offers a solution to these merchants, but provides a frictionless experience to international consumers.

wegginar® participants can expect to learn how to…

  1. Offer international consumers the same shopping experience on your website that you offer to shoppers in the US.

  2. Avoid complicated and costly international shipping that will ultimately improve your conversion rate.
  3. Enable new international markets with just a click and reach a world of consumers.
  4. Make your online shoppers feel at home anywhere

wegg® aims to make resources for going global accessible to all women entrepreneurs, and our wegginars® are free thanks to our sponsors. To register for the event, visit this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8810009934736118275 

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.

Women Entrepreneurship in the EU: The Numbers

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On a global scale, women are less likely than men to start their own businesses. This is evident from the above graph, taken from the “Policy Brief on Women’s Entrepreneurship.” The data shows that in every EU country, from 2010-14, there were significantly less female owners of new businesses, than male.

Why is this the reality?

The OECD SME and Entrepreneurship analysis proposes that a:

“…key factor in explaining the gender gap is the social and institutional context [of the countries]. Paradoxically, national-level gender equality is negatively associated with women’s self-employment choice compared to men’s (Klyver et. al., 2013), suggesting that gender equality policies in the labour market may cause women to prefer employment over self-employment (Nielsen et. al., 2010). Similarly, more supportive work-family institutions are associated with larger gender gaps in terms of business size, growth aspirations, innovativeness and use of technology. This appears to indicate that it is important to look beyond simple proportions of women and men entrepreneurs to the motivations and quality of the business, with the hypothesis that greater gender equality may improve good quality businesses and business creation based on positive choices by women, while reducing poorer quality business creation based on lack of choice.”

One of the economic reasons that women might choose employment over the entrepreneurial self-employed path, is that self-employed women make less money than self employed men, on average. This finding is displayed in the graphic below:

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Other factors, such as lack of resources and training for women in business, are consistently cited as justification for the lack of women entrepreneurs in the global . market. This apparent neglect of a business education for women is highlighted in the graph below:

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As displayed by the image, at least thirteen out of the twenty-two countries in the EU showed a significant gender gap in perceived accessibility to business training. This is where wegg™ can help. 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.

We provide monthly resources for women entrepreneurs to become educated on current business strategies in order to go global. If you are interested in entering business, or growing the business you already have, wegg™ can help you. Please check out our website, to discover possibilities you did not even know existed.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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How Mastercard is Investing in Women Entrepreneurs in Developing Nations

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In Michelle Martin’s recent Forbes article, “How Mastercard Could Close A $300 Billion Credit Gap For Women Entrepreneurs,” she reports,

“As of 2017, 70% of women-owned MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] in the developing world lack access to adequate financing, representing a $300 billion credit gap each year.”

This major finance inequality stems from MSMEs not having access to a digital record of transactions or the resources required by banks to obtain credit. Because of these issues, women entrepreneurs, in places such as Nairobi Kenya, are not able to gain the capital needed to purchase inventory in order to expand their enterprises. Expanding a business is critical to the success of a business, and makes it possible for the entrepreneur to potentially achieve success on a global level.

Thanks to Mastercard, this $300 billion credit breach is about to change. The corporation is launching technology, through the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, to aide women owned MSMEs in these countries. Martin explains,

“In partnership with Unilever, Mastercard recently launched the Jaza Duka program in Kenya, where they created a first-of-its-kind digital lending platform. The unique platform tracks how much Unilever product a store owner has purchased over time and combines that data with an analysis by Mastercard. The results are used to provide a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank, who can then provide an interest-free credit line.”

The venture is already being met with success. In one instance, a Kenyan entrepreneur named Lucy Njoki, has been able to increase her sales at her shop by twenty-percent, thanks to the Jaza Duka program.

To read Martin’s full piece, and an interview she conducted with one of the executives of this Mastercard program, Shamina Singh, click here.

This support of global women entrepreneurs is the kind of change that we here at wegg™ are proud to watch. If you or a woman entrepreneur you know is trying to “go global,” we would love to help you, too.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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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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