Friday, December 19, 2014

Are Yemeni Startups Exaggerating Their Potential?

©iStock/Zanskar
Last year in an interview with the Yemen Times Radio, Jamal Al-Mutareb—a businessman and investor who has backed a number of Yemeni startups in the past said:
Many local initiatives are not taken seriously by investors because their potential is exaggerated. While there is a general interest among Yemeni businessmen to invest in local startups, he said, frustration prevails as information provided by Yemeni entrepreneurs is often unreliable.
Read more about what is needed to generate greater attention to entrepreneurship in Yemen.  Perhaps setting entrepreneurship as a priority by the government might help advance a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in Yemen.

To build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Yemen

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Global Entrepreneur

©iStock/JimmyFam
Four entrepreneurs address the following four questions on what it's like to be a global entrepreneur.
  1. What’s your experience and how did you start out in business?
  2. What characterizes entrepreneurship and what’s great about it?
  3. Can you be creative and make money in business?
  4. Can turning what you love into a business help with your success?
Read:  Entrepreneurship:  A global perspective

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Walgreens Goes Global

©iStock/HconQ
After Walgreen's acquisition of the European drugstore giant, Alliance Boots, Walgreens formed a new holding company with four divisions that include "Global Brands." The other three divisions are:
  1. Walgreen Co., which includes the U.S. drugstore chain
  2. Boots, which includes the pharmacy and beauty business in the United Kingdom and Ireland
  3. The global wholesale operation
According to the Global Powers of Retailing 2014 list by auditing firm Deloitte Touche, "Walgreen is now the eleventh-largest retailer of any type in the world (not just among drugstore chains), one of eight U.S. companies in the top twenty, the sixth-largest retailer of any type in the U.S., and is among the top-fifty e-retailers in the world (again, of any type, not just drugstores)."

To learn more, visit:  Under Pessina, Look For Walgreen to Boost Global Brands

Related article:  Walgreens:  Your Local Drugstore Going Global

Monday, December 15, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: What Bitcoin Technology May Offer to the Future of Finance

©iStock/Merznatalia
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Engaging the Whole World

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” - Hamilton Wright Mabie

Friday, December 12, 2014

Guess Who Has More Than 400,000 Global Customers?

©iStock.com/Cherezoff
Gosh that could be any company with almost a half a million customers but in this instance it's software developer Xero (not Xerox) that says it has more than 400,000 customers globally and is "back on track" in its key US market where it wants to take market share of an estimated 29 million small to medium sized business owners.

In 2014, Xero processed more than $250 billion worth of transactions, 95 million invoices and now holds more than a half a petabyte of data collected which covers business performance and gives insight into small business economics and trends, the Wellington-based company said in a statement.

Learn more:  Xero reaches 400,000 global customers

Thursday, December 11, 2014

POLITICO Expands to Europe

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POLITICO, an American political journalism organization with a focus on national politics and government, unveiled the first stage of their global expansion: a European edition of POLITICO, launching this spring with a team of 70, as a joint venture with Brussels-based Axel Springer, Europe’s largest news publisher.

Here's the scoop:
POLITICO Europe will be based in Berlin, with reporters in major capitals, and newsrooms and business presences in Berlin and Paris. The goal: to create the largest most influential political and policy publication on the Continent.
WOW.  Great goal for 2015.  All businesses, big and small, should have a goal of going global in 2015.

Read more:  POLITICO Goes Global:  Europe edition launches this spring with team of 70

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'Startup Land' Book Is Anything But Conventional

Photo courtesy:  Laurel J. Delaney
I was sent a review copy of "Startup Land:  How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea Into a Global Business," because the publicist thought the book was a good fit for The Global Small Business Blog.  She is right.

How could anyone not get something from "Startup Land" or do you not know who Mikkel Svane is and what he accomplished?  Svane cofounded Zendesk -- software for better customer service -- in Copenhagen in 2007 with Morten Primdahl and Alexander Aghassipour.  Today, Svane leads a global publicly traded company with customers in 150 countries and products and services that reach hundreds of millions of people.  Talk about inventing disruptive technology that has inspired a whole new generation of customer-focused companies.

So yes, there are many lessons in this book for you.  Rather than focus on the chapter titles, I'll give you a listing of sub-titles because they are more telling and after each one I want you to ask yourself, "What did he do?"
  1. Believing that what you're doing is great and knowing nothing of what's to come
  2. Keeping it together when things should be falling apart
  3. How to turn down money and keep your company (and your soul)
  4. Battling circumstances beyond your control
  5. Getting investors and getting along with your partners
  6. Chasing the dream - and dealing with the reality
  7. Leveraging location and upending our lives
  8. Going from building a product to building a company - and messing up along the way
  9. From idealist to realist, and the uncomfortable journey in between
  10. Becoming a public company and remembering where we came from
Svane gives a complete run-down of what the three cofounders did under each circumstance.  One of my favorite parts in the book is at the end in A Few More Thoughts because Svane talks about how his story is such a small part of the story of Zendesk.  He says, "The story of any startup is actually the story of its customers.  It's about real-life relationships with people who bought what the company was selling."

Whether you are an aspiring global entrepreneur or seasoned global small business owner, if you feel stuck and can't take another step forward without some help, pick up this book and read it.  If you stumble again, re-read it for its how-to aspect -- how to build a great enduring global enterprise. Solutions can be found at every turn of the page.

I'll make it easy for you.  Go here to purchase.  Oh, and the book is co-authored by Mikkel Svane and Carlye Adler who is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

America's Best Small-Town Destinations

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Fodor's Travel offers a list of America's best small-town destinations -- Telluride, Marfa and Beaufort, for example -- with populations under 30,000 that have a storied history and year-round appeal. The list is made up of detour-worthy towns all over the U.S. that have strong cultural offerings or great outdoor adventures, in addition to good eats and lodging options. For your next small-town getaway, head to any of these 10 remarkable spots.  Or, perhaps you already live in one of these areas.  If so, remember, whether a town or a business, you may be small today, but you can grow to be large tomorrow!

Read:  America's Best Small Towns

Monday, December 08, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Beware, Fraudsters Love the Holidays

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Best Damn Coffeecake on the Planet

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
If you haven't tried O&H Danish Bakery's award-winning Kringle, you are missing out on tasting the best damn coffeecake on the planet.(Secret:  For those who are near a Trader Joe's location - they carry Kringle at special times of the year.  Inquire.  By picking one up, you can save on delivery fees.)