Thursday, May 31, 2012

Strong Commitment to Small Business Owners: President Obama Signs Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act into Law

President Obama signed the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 into law on May 30, 2012. Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg joined the President at the White House for the signing ceremony.
The Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 extends the Bank's authority through 2014 and ultimately increases its portfolio cap to $140 billion. This provides much-needed certainty and predictability to U.S. exporters and their workers.
Learn more here.

Related post: Ex-Im's Hochberg Pledges $1 Billion Support for Executive Jets - Businessweek + Global Small Business Blog archives here.

Hat tip to Jim Greene (retired) for letting us know.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taking a Club To The World

Italy's World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi's job as the new manager of the Chinese Guangzhou Evergrande is to take the club to the world.
... his job is not to win over the local population. His job is to take Guangzhou to the world and he has already started. 
Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Passing On Languages Skills to Millions of Students

Starr Green is passing on language skills to millions of students.  She is a language teacher at a Leeds school, Morley's Bruntcliffe High School.
Starr Green’s lesson plans and helpful hints on the art of learning French and Spanish go way beyond her home ground at Morley’s Bruntcliffe High School – thanks to a website she appears on and which is run by the Times Educational Supplement.
Learn more:  Leeds teacher's going global with her language lessons

Monday, May 28, 2012

U.S.A.: Honor Those Who Have Served

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "United States Flag"
While Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer, it also reminds us to thank and honor all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.

In your activities, please take a moment to read the Prayer For Peace (a prayer for the fallen).

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Global Winners of the International Space Apps Challenge

A true global collaboration with thousands of people and organizations around the world participating.
The event celebrated technology development in its most positive context—using minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create outside- the-box solutions in response to interesting problems.
The six global winners are as follows:

1.  "Most Inspiring" Award to Planet Hopper (Oxford, United Kingdom) -- An app that visualizes Kepler data to allow children and teachers to explore all the exoplanets that we know about.

2.  "Best Use of Data" Award to Vicar2png (Virtual Participation) -- An app that allows anyone to view, enjoy, and remix NASA’s mission image data easily by converting
VICAR files to the popular PNG image format.

3.  "Most Disruptive" Award to Growing Fruits: Pineapple Project (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; San Francisco, US; Santiago, Chile; and Virtual Participation) -- An app that provides the optimal crop for your community by filtering a tropical crop database by location's rainfall, latitude, elevation and pH..

4.  "Most Innovative" Award to Strange Desk (Oxford, United Kingdom) -- An app that allows users to socially share and analyze the occurrence of strange events with others.

5.  "Galactic Impact" Award to Growers Nation (Exeter UK, San Francisco USA, New York City USA, Santiago Chile, Nairobi Kenya and Santo Domingo Dominican Republic) -- An app that explores the potential of unused land for the growing of fruit, vegetable and other crops through the use of location, climate and growing data.

6.  "People's Choice" Award to Bit Harvester (Nairobi, Kenya) -- An SMS-based remote data acquisition and control system for remote renewable energy installations.

Congratulations to all the applicants!  We are very proud of you and your amazing work.

International Space Apps Challenge blog post here.   International Space Apps Challenge homepage (other applicants).

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, May 25, 2012

Free Online Toolkit To Work More Efficiently Globally

Create.  Share.  Edit.  Manage.  Host.  Poll.  Set up.  Post.  Chat.  Send.  Do all those things globally while working with files, calendars, links, groups, calls and messages.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello Global Small Business Owners: Join a Twitter Chat Today

Ref:  Heroes love company

In celebration of Small Business Week, two of my favorite small business experts, Rieva Lesonsky and Steve Strauss, invite you to join a live one-hour Twitter chat today, May 24th, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST.

During the chat, Rieva and Steve will discuss a breadth of issues facing small business owners every day including, but not limited to, revenue growth, talent management and retention, economic concerns, business challenges and personal sacrifices small business owners worldwide like you make to run their business.

The chat will be driven by findings from the inaugural Bank of America Small Business Owner Report.

Rieva and Steve will be available to answer your questions and provide insight on any specific pressing issues you may be dealing with.

To participate, check out @Rieva and @SteveStrauss Twitter accounts today (5/24), from 2:00 p.m. -  3:00 p.m. EST and join the conversation by using the hashtag #smallbizreport.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hip, Young China: Sanlitun Village

If you are planning to visit Beijing, be sure to explore Sanlitun Village.  English version here.

About Sanlitun Village:
The name 'Sanlitun Village' is taken from the small scale urban communities based around various culture and art scenes that spontaneously develop in cities across the world. Here in the Village, we wanted to create a community that places emphasis on 'people': people eating, drinking, shopping, performing, discovering, and creating, ending up with an experience that is influenced from everywhere, yet feels like nowhere else.
Related post:  Pizza in Sanlitun:  A Story

Monday, May 21, 2012

Global Survey-Based Market Research Company: Ipsos

Every day I discover something new and today it's Ipsos, a global independent market research company that claims to rank third worldwide among research firms.  Why have I never heard of them up until now I'll never understand.

They specialize in the following areas:
advertising research; marketing research; media, content and technology research; loyalty, quality and customer relationship management research; opinion polls and social research; and survey management, data collection and delivery.
Learn more about Ipsos here.

Be sure to check out their nifty Global @dvisor, a 24 country, online, monthly syndicated research service used to generate information for media and clients.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

World: Don't Drown

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Lifeguard Chairs"
If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, a lot of people would be drowning." ~ Simon Cowell

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Raising the Financing Authority of the U.S. Export-Import Bank

The U.S. Senate approved a bill that would reauthorize and increase funds for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal trade bank that helps boost U.S. exports.
The legislation would reauthorize the bank, whose charter was set to expire at the end of May, through September 2014 and raise the bank's lending cap from $100 billion to $140 billion to provide credit and loan guarantees to support the purchase of U.S. exports abroad.
Learn more here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

As a Global Small Business Owner, Are You Tapping Into Employee Creativity?

Rumor (and a little research) has it that businesses in South Africa might be missing out on one of the greatest opportunities to increase its bottom line: its staff.

According to the 2011 Global Entrepreneurs Monitor (GEM) report, it shows that many established businesses in South Africa are missing the boat when it comes to tapping into their employees’ commercial (e.g., entrepreneurial) creativity.

Learn more here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Contract Manufacture Or Not To Contract Manufacture, That Is the Question

The article below provides the ins and outs to contract manufacturing overseas. If you have experience with contract manufacturing overseas, please comment - thanks!

Contract Manufacturing

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lab For the World: Developing Countries

How do you recognize great ideas from developing countries - and bring them home? 
We imagine innovation as a trickle-down process. Companies in places such as the United States, Europe, and Japan deploy sophisticated technology to produce premium products for developed markets. Then they strip out some features, maybe substitute cheaper materials and eliminate most options, and ship their diminished creations to presumably less-demanding customers in Africa, Asia, and South America.

But the days of rich countries' hegemony over innovation may be numbered.
Authors Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble describe the developing world as a fertile research and development lab for companies in any market in their new book, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere (Harvard Business Review Press).

Learn how to recognize great ideas from developing countries - bring them home and about Reverse Innovation here.
Key statement in the article:  When entrepreneurs see an opportunity, they should partner.  There are lots of people in developing countries looking for alliances of this sort.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moms Rule the World: Happy Day!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Woman and Child Adventure."
"Mother - that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries."  ~ T. DeWitt Talmage 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Think An Overseas Assignment Moves You Up in the Corporate World?

International assignments are good but what you really need is broad international experience -- the more the better!
As the process of bringing products to market involves an increasingly global web of commerce, managers gunning for the C-suite should be ready to complete multiple stints abroad. Such double- and triple-dipping workers are in high demand, because time spent overseas develops their ability to manage complex, interconnected operations—skills that just can't be developed back at headquarters or in one brief foreign assignment, recruiters and human-resources executives say.
Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

World Trade Month the World Over

President Obama declared the third full week in May as World Trade Week yet May in its entirety is declared World Trade Month.  Organizations, individuals, aspiring global entrepreneurs and other stakeholders gather together to meet, network, work global deals and learn more about international trade.

New York goes all out on this!  Visit World Trade Week New York City 14-25 May 2012 here.  Calendar of May events here.

All of this speaks to the importance of international trade in our global economy.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on World Trade Month 2012:
In addition to World Trade Month events and activities across the country, this month the Commerce Department will present the 50th Annual President’s “E” Award that will recognize dozens of U.S. companies for the significant contributions they have made in increasing American exports and creating jobs. Other activities will include the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, which goes into effect on May 15, and local World Trade Week (May 20-26) celebrations from New York to Los Angeles.  ~ More info: 
For additional help, revisit:

The Global Small Business Blog

Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global Import and Export Site

There is no better time than now to find your opportunities in the global marketplace!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Changing the World One Idea At a Time

As the article below highlights, the global economy is being remade before our eyes. Here's what's on the horizon.
Right Now
Here's one:  Rent-A-Country

Monday, May 07, 2012

English the Language of Choice in Dubai?

Erin Burnett shares experience in visiting the American University in Dubai:  Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication.

According to Burnett, English is fast becoming the only language of a new generation of educated Arabs.
Literacy in the Gulf States is 98%, according to Unesco. But that literacy is increasingly in English, not Arabic.
Read the entire article here.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Make a Splash

Photo credit:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Splash"
"The pressure to compete, the fear somebody else will make the splash first, creates a frenzied environment in which a blizzard of information is presented and serious questions may not be raised." ~ Carl Bernstein

Friday, May 04, 2012

Ideas For Staying Ahead of the Global Curve

Find out how a small bondage business competes in a global economy.

One quick comment from the CEO of Kink Engineering Matt Olmstead:
We have our designs pirated and mass produced by competitors in China (and constantly have to design ahead of the curve or seek markets that want custom/artisanal work).
Visit:  Kink Engineering

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Countries With Promising Advantages

Author and Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer poses the question:  Which countries are best positioned to pivot deftly in this emerging world order?
We have entered what I like to call a "G-Zero" world: one in which no single nation (not even the U.S.) or alliance of governments (certainly not the G-7 or G-20) possesses the political and economic muscle to drive an international agenda. In this new decentralized global order, growth isn't enough. A country also must have resilience—the power to pivot.
Find out here.  In terms of promising advantages, country size does not matter.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Inspiring School Design: Fuji Kindergarten in Japan

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
If you are a designer or architect, you can take your brilliant ideas global. In this case, Fuji Kindergarten (completed in 2007) provides a learning environment that fosters the individual development and expression of all its pupils in Japan.
This ethos has been created through a building that doubles as a huge piece of play equipment. The Montessori pedagogy on which the design is based creates a building with no walls. Classroom spaces, play areas, and support facilities merge into one, offering a landscape for children to explore and adapt to suit their needs.
Project facts here.

The architects (courtesy photo above) behind the project can be found here

Fuji Kindergarten website here.