Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The First Official International Board of Advisors Meeting of the World Entrepreneurship Forum

I just returned from Lyon, France to participate in my first International Board of Advisors meeting for the World Entrepreneurship Forum. It was a productive gathering! At this time, I wish to report out on the many new initiatives launched by the three-year-old World Entrepreneurship Forum.

Let's start with identifying the "who's who" on the newly appointed IBOA and work our way through four other fabulous creations that are taking place within the Forum:

1. International Board of Advisors for the World Entrepreneurship Forum

Pictured above from left to right: Yves-Henri Robillard, Director of the World Entrepreneurship Forum; Harold Celms, Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia in France; Geneviève Morand, Founder, Rezonance, Switzerland ; Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organization, Singapore; Jean-Luc Decornoy, Chairman of the Board of KPMG S.A., France; Patrick Molle, President of EMLYON Business School, France; Zoltan Acs, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Public Policy, George Mason University, USA; Laurel Delaney, Founder, GlobeTrade, U.S.A.; Agarwal Nikhil, Director, Europe Asia Business School (EABS), India; Steve Strauss, Founder, MrAllBiz, U.S.A.

Not pictured (Board members who were unable to attend meeting): Inderjit Singh, member of Parliament of Singapore, Nyokabi Njuguna, Founder & CEO, Marketing Strategies & Solutions, Kenya and Kah Walla, Founder & Director, Strategies, Cameroon.

2. New logo -- new identity for the World Entrepreneurship Forum

We are delighted to unveil our new look (as shown above) that reflects a contemporary, clean and crisp design -- in line with our international reputation.

Here's the back story on what the logo symbolizes: The two crossed rings, symbols of the two faces of the earth, illustrate the global reach and strong dualities that give soul to the World Entrepreneurship Forum: Wealth & Social justice, Economic & Social, Sharing & Meeting. The new identity will serve numerous purposes for the World Entrepreneurship Forum. Watch for the many different facets of the logo as we launch a plethora of new initiatives.
Note: If you click on the Board photo, you will see that we did a good job conveying our new logo with our pose -- all interconnected through our arms (linkage) and our hands!

3. Creation of the first "World Entrepreneurship Centres"

Argentina and Singapore are the first countries where regional chapters of the World Entrepreneurship Forum will be created. These chapters, directed locally by members of the think tank, will gather throughout the year with local entrepreneurs and decision-makers who will debate global issues relative to their vision and experience of the local reality. These centres will be identification branches, observe best practices and will feed the debates carried out on a global level.

4. Publication of White Paper, synthesis of the conclusions of the 2009 edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum

This first White Paper, “How can governments support the development of the entrepreneurship?," is the official synthesis of the 2nd edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum which was held in Lyon in November 2009 and gathered together 80 personalities of 40 different countries, selected for their entrepreneurial success and their contribution to the society. The White Paper will be distributed globally to entrepreneurs, governments, decision-makers and media in order to promote policies to support types of entrepreneurship that gave results in various countries.

To access the White Paper, please visit:

5. Five Junior Forums in 2010

The Junior Forums, organized from June 28-July 2, aim at preparing the exchanges of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. These Junior Forums are organized by and for students, the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Five countries will organize Junior Forums in 2010: China (Shanghai), Singapore, India (Pune, the biggest student city in the country), Morocco, and France (Lyon). The organizing students will invite personalities from the field of entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, from governments and the academic world to exchange ideas on the topics of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and share their own recommendations.

The third edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum will be held in Lyon, France from November 3-6, 2010. Its main theme will be: “Creating and developing high growth companies." Watch for more information about this program coming soon here at our blog.

Note: Full disclosure, Laurel Delaney serves on the International Board of Advisors for the World Entrepreneurship Forum.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gruyere from Switzerland Named World's Best Cheese

The winner for the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, Wisconsin is Swiss Cheesemaker Cedric Vuille's Gruyere.
Swiss and Austrian cheesemakers took top honours Thursday at the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, beating out some 2,300 entries from 20 countries ranging from Argentina to Switzerland. Cheesemaker Cedric Vuille took top honors with a Gruyere that judges lauded for its creamy texture and light hint of herbs.
"It's very smooth, it's aromatic and it has a very clean cheese flavour," said Bill Schlinsog, one of 30 judges. "It has a burst of flavour and then it settles down very nicely in the mouth."
The runner-up: Andeer Sennerei of Andeer, Switzerland.
Third place: Alois Pesendorfer of Gmunden, Austria
Additional resources:
Swiss Gruyere named world's best cheese
Winners in 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest
Gruyere wins world cheese championship

Swiss Gruyere Named World Champion

Monday, March 29, 2010

Calling All U.S.A. Exporters: Step Up Your International Sales!

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Are you primed and ready to go with exporting? As you are already aware through this blog, Uncle Sam wants more of the nation's small business exporters to step up their international sales efforts as part of an ambitious goal to double U.S. exports to $3 trillion within five years.

Instead of of a Got Milk program, maybe they should start a Got Exports?

Read more:

U.S. Pushing Companies to Go After Global Market (Los Angeles Times)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

There's Something About Domino's Pizza in India

Humor aside, learn more here about Domino's opening its 300th outlet in India and its 65th new location there this year, making India the fastest-growing market for the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza-delivery chain.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Invent the Future Through Innovation

Disruptive innovators are everywhere. Are you one of them?

It takes technology to spread good ideas and make innovating easy. For ideas on how to get started, take a look at my latest contribution over at the American Express OPEN Forum, "Make a Date to Innovate."
If you want to be a fast innovator, don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen by making a date with innovation. That way, you can drive growth within your organization and continue inventing the future.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

India and China May Not Be the Only Answer

An offshoring expert, Kevin D. Stringer, argues that companies could compete and profit best by outsourcing to small, more developed countries.
... But more important, costs aren’t the only criteria to consider. Increasingly, offshoring is used to transfer overseas such brainy jobs as financial research, analytics, chip design, legal services, clinical trials management, and even magazine or book editing. Given that activity is trending from low-level to high-order functions, countries such as India and China known best for cheap labor and large populations become less and less attractive. Their overall subpar literacy and productivity levels, the endemic weaknesses in their educational systems, and their minimal environmental regulations make these nations ill-suited for high-end tasks, which companies must increasingly rely on as a potential competitive distinction and a way to differentiate themselves in the knowledge-based economy.
India and China May Not Be the Answer

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Export Transportation Bottlenecks

The United States is experiencing its own export renaissance due to a generally weak dollar and a push by the Obama administration to double exports in five years.

But the one thing nobody is talking about? Shipping bottlenecks.
It's the opposite of what one might expect. Carriers have a surplus of ships. And since the U.S. still imports more than it exports, freighters arrive in America looking for export cargo to take back, so they don't have to go home empty. Yet American producers of everything from hazelnuts to cardboard are complaining they can't get their goods shipped in timely fashion. Eighty rail cars filled with dried peas sat for weeks on train tracks outside Seattle, waiting for a ship to India. Wheat for Asia is stuck in a warehouse in North Dakota.
It's a challenge.

Read more here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meat from Down Under

amana images/Thinkstock
As an export, Australia has some convincing to do when it comes to consuming camel meat worldwide. Apparently, the people in the Middle East enjoy it (widely accepted). Vegetarians beware, the following material may not appeal to you (it didn't to us -- not because we're vegetarians or vegans -- more due to the cultural difference).
It tasted like a juicier version of beef. But the meat in question was camel—freshly slaughtered at Dann’s abattoir, Centralian Gold, which he has been running, off and on, since 1986. In that time, the population of Australian camels has escalated to plague proportions, and Dann believes that selling their meat could become a multimillion-dollar industry.

Camels were first brought to Australia ...
Read more:

The Atlantic
Outback Steakhouse

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Up, Up, and Away on Exports!

Biggest hiccup for SMBs on exporting? It used to be finding customers. Now, it's getting paid.

Read John Tozzi's excellent article over at BusinessWeek:
Other business owners might sour on exporting after what happened to David Old. His company (Old Wood LLC), a 15-employee wood flooring producer (pictured) in Las Vegas, N.M., had completed a $130,000 order for a new theater floor for a customer in Seoul, South Korea, in 2008. The buyer paid a deposit up front, passed a credit check, and made the first two payments on time. But the final payment of $40,000, due after the financial crisis began that fall, never arrived.

The Biggest Roadblock to Upping Exports

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mobile Phone Subscribers Earn Money In the Developing World

There are over 2 billion literate, mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, many living on less than $5 a day.

Corporations pay people to accomplish billions of image, audio and text-based tasks.

Guess who enables these tasks to be completed via the mobile phone by people around the globe?

Find out here.

In case you are pressed for time:

txteagle is a service that enables mobile phone subscribers to earn money and accumulate savings by completing simple micro-tasks for large corporate clients. Originally conceived as a mechanism to compensate rural Kenyan nurses, txteagle is now on track to becoming one of Africa's largest employers.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Will China Give In?

One of my favorite thought leaders (Nobel Prize winner), Paul Krugman, explains how he thinks about the current China syndrome, and why he believes that most of the responses that he hears from fans are missing the point.

He focuses on three questions:
The macroeconomics of Chinese currency intervention, the fallacies of elasticity pessimism, and the political economy issue of how to deal with Chinese intransigence.

Capital Export, Elasticity Pessimism, and the Renminbi (Wonkish)

Agree or disagree?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today is a Day When Everyone in the World is Irish or Wishes They Were!

Happy St. Patrick's Day -- my favorite day of the year! We'll start with a little bit of history and add an Irish Blessing:

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.

And let's end on a light note: When Irish Eyes Are Shining (turn volume down first -- lyrics here). More songs here.

Past posts on this day ... one more here. Enjoy the day.

Posted by: Laurel Delaney (heritage here), The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Become a Certified Global Business Professional

The NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce. The CGBP designation demonstrates an individual's ability to conduct global business including Global Business Management, Global Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and Trade Finance.

At the NASBITE CGBP (logo pictured) site you will find information regarding how to become a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional, the background to the project, training resources, test overview, and a practice exam. There is also a forum in which you may ask questions and share your thoughts regarding the NASBITE CGBP credential.

Regular registration closes March 31.

Take action here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who Says Plumbing Can't be Sexy and Exportable?

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Bradley Corp., an international manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures and washroom accessories, received a 2010 Exporter of the Year award from ThinkGlobal Inc., publisher of Commercial News USA, the official export promotion magazine of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Bradley serves a diverse customer base ranging from small local facilities to international corporations such as WalMart, General Motors, U.S. Postal Service, W.W. Grainger, and AMC Theaters Corp.

Here's what we can learn from Bradley on taking a business global:

"Our company's commitment to product innovation and strong customer service - as well as aggressive sales promotions in Germany and the Czech Republic -- have all positively influenced our continued success in product exportation," said Steve Zingsheim, Vice President, International Sales, Bradley Corp. "We also work closely with the Department of Commerce and take advantage of services such as the Gold Key in Japan and Mexico. Because of our many years of service in the international community through organizations like Milwaukee World Trade Association (MWTA), we mentor international students enrolled at local area colleges."
Find out more here. Bradley backgrounder here.

Congratulations to Bradley! It is clear they are benefiting from their export efforts through new market expansion opportunities that lead to powerful growth.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Global Economies Surge Forward

With or without the United States, the global economy is surging forward.
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim is the first man from a developing nation to become the world’s richest person – a shift that underlines the loosening of America and Europe’s stranglehold on the top spots in the billionaires’ club.
Find out how there was a time when Americans held top spots in the world and how that is changing here.

Related articles here:

Carlos Slim Arrives in Lebanon, Will Meet President

Carlos Slim richest person in the world
#1 Carlos Slim Helu & Family

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Motion-Sensing Devices Go Global

This week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony (worth a look!) unveiled a motion controller for the PlayStation 3 (pictured), offering gamers its answer to the Nintendo Wii. It's called the Move and is a rectangular device curved on the sides to fit comfortably in the hand. It also has a glowing ball at the end that contains technology used in tracking a player's motions.

Interesting what all the major players are doing in this industry:
Nintendo's success with the Wii, released in November 2006 as the first console to offer motion-sensing technology, has brought the gaming technology to the mainstream.
Microsoft is expected to join the trend in offering a motion-sensing device for the Xbox 360 in time for this year's holiday shopping season.Unveiled in June 2009 as "Project Natal," the Xbox system relies on sensors that track players' body movements to allow them to interactively play sports and other games without having to hold any hardware.
Read more at here.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Can Nontraditional Direct Foreign Investment Do For a Country?

Why are some governments more effective than others at attracting nontraditional foreign direct investment? Thunderbird’s Roy C. Nelson, Ph.D., a global studies professor with expertise in Latin America, argues that ...
... nontraditional foreign direct investment, which requires more advanced skills and training from a country’s workers, can help improve a country’s development prospects and diversify its economy. Examples of this include investment in software development centers, biotechnology or global services.
Learn more about what Dr. Nelson has to say on this subject here.

Follow Nelson on Twitter here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Becoming a Globally Advantaged Company

Step aside BEMs (big emerging markets), and instead, let's take a look at RDEs (rapidly developing economies) -- an important growth engine for many multinationals.

Is there a difference between BEMS and RDEs? In my due diligence for this post, I discovered BusinessWeek's article, "In Recession, Focus on Emerging Markets," and I'm still unclear as to which countries are identified as RDEs. Could RDEs really be BRIC countries under a new guise?

BCG (Boston Consulting Group), through its globalization arm, claims to know a thing or two about these RDEs (perhaps they will make the distinction for us):
BCG’s Global Advantage practice helps clients achieve global competitive advantage by capturing opportunities arising in and from the RDEs. We support both industry leaders from developed countries and fast-growing companies from the RDEs on a wide range of issues.
Check out their ...

Impact Stories

And this may be of interest to you too -- a report from the BCG web site:
The 2009 BCG 100 New Global Challengers

Posted from The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

When to Expand Internationally?

Three-year old, a platform that allows students to be seen for what they are -- not just numbers, but people -- explains when to expand a business internationally:

When to expand internationally?

"We're three years old, and we were cash-flow positive before our current venture financing came. Although it is risky and expanding internationally adds a lot of complexity to the business, we think this is such a good idea that we want to expand before someone else does.

The scarcest asset is our relationships with institutions. They are very skeptical, but right now we have more than 800 clients, of which some are the most selective in the world," Anne adds. This, together with simplifying its technology, gives Zinch the edge to expand internationally and manage its complexity.
Read more here.

Monday, March 08, 2010

What Do You Care About in Our World?

Pepsi wants to help you out.

This year, the Pepsi Refresh Project is giving millions of dollars to fund ideas across six different categories (e.g., The Planet), that will refresh the world.

Submit your idea and vote for what you care about most:

Saturday, March 06, 2010's Borderbuster e-Newsletter

If you missed yesterday's 98th edition of's monthly e-newsletter, Borderbuster, you missed a really good Q&A about how to access international trade stats. Here it is for your benefit:

Q: To Ask The Expert,

Where's a good place to search for U.S. import or export statistics?

A: Our recommendations are:

The U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

International trade and tariff data

International Trade Centre, International Trade Statistics

There are a couple of good places online that provide specific import-export trade data and other global intelligence for a fee. Conduct a Google or Bing search on key words "import-export trade data" or "international trade data," for they are sure to pop up.

And it can't hurt to take a look at some things going on here.

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Fair and Global Fashion Designer

Meet the People Tree, the fair trade fashion pioneer based in the U.K. They are designers and manufacturers of fashion and garments that are primarily cotton certified organic and Fairtrade. All their clothes are dyed using safe and natural dyes. And they source as many products as they can locally, choosing natural and recycled products over toxic, synthetic and non-biodegradable materials.
For every beautiful garment People Tree makes, there's an equally beautiful change happening somewhere in the world.
We like to think of it in terms of our little shoots-and-roots motif. We provide you with exclusive fashion - the shoots - while at the same time we work deep down through the roots, improving the lives and environment of the artisans and farmers in developing countries who work to produce it. It's Fair Trade throughout. Simple.

How it works

In order to ensure People Tree fashion meets the Fair Trade principles set out by WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation), we work closely with 50 Fair Trade groups in 15 countries. That way, we can bring benefits to people and the planet at as many steps of the production process as possible – growing cotton, weaving, dyeing, embroidery, stitching etc. – helping alleviate poverty in the world's most marginalised communities.
We also work hard to ensure that we pioneer ecologically sound methods of production and minimise environmental impact. Not only is most of our cotton certified organic and Fairtrade, all our clothes are dyed using safe and natural dyes. And we source as many products as we can locally, choosing natural and recycled products over toxic, synthetic and non-biodegradable materials.
All our designers – both in the UK and Japan – know how to work within this set-up, which means we can produce garments that are beautiful, as well as caring. So, our collections are all the more special because they make imaginative use of local skills (handwoven fabrics, hand screen printing and hand embroidery are used a great deal), which creates as much employment as possible in areas that really need it.
Learn more here.
Request a catalog here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sending Our Thoughts, Prayers and Energy To Chile

The earthquake that hit Chile February 27, 2010 (8.8 magnitude) -- 5th largest in history -- has resulted in more than 800 casualties thus far and apparent infrastructure damage throughout the country, to the tune of more than U.S. $2 billion and growing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Chile over the loss of lives and property.

Our thoughts, prayers and energy also go out to all the strong survivors in Chile who are impacted by this terrible tragedy, including our Director of The World Entrepreneurship Forum (full disclosure: I am a member of The World Entrepreneurship Forum and appointed Board member), who is still in Chile on business. Thank goodness he is safe but we hope he will be able to return to France soon.

May all the Chilean residents get back to some form of order, safety and normalcy soon.

Chile earthquake: CNN

Monday, March 01, 2010

What's Your Cultural Intelligence?

As more of us take our business global, we need the best understanding possible of how to interact with people from difficult cultures. It's not just a case of learning a different language and showing a little respect. It's about digging deep to grapple with the nuances and complexities of cross-cultural experiences.

The book, "Leading With Cultural Intelligence" by David Livermore, Ph.D., is a terrific primer that will help you to stop feeling anxious and awkward when you travel overseas and enable you to get your global cultural groove in gear -- all while ensuring you don't wind up saying or doing something wrong.

Get your CQ (Cultural Intelligence) here. By the way, these skills and sensitivities can be learned and developed to liberate you to achieve global small business success.

We wrote about this topic October 27, 2009: Do You Have Cultural Intelligence? And here's David's comment on that post:
And I so appreciate the way you highlighted that cultural competence means so much more than just treating people with respect -- thought that's a great place for all of us to begin. Like you, I'm increasingly observing how communication, negotiation, marketing, and lots more are impacted by culture. This challenge/opportunity is only going to increase in the months ahead.