Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Grand Prize Winner is Umbulizer

©iStock/gustavofrazao
The annual MIT IDEAS Global Challenge showcase and awards ceremony recently took place.  The grand prize winner of $15,000 went to Umbulizer, a team developing a low-cost, portable ventilator — made by modifying and simplifying the machinery — for patients in rural areas where medical resources are scarce and unreliable.
“High-end ventilators are not affordable for hospitals in Pakistan. We’ve basically simplified the model” to make them less expensive, team member Moiz Imam, a senior in mechanical engineering, told MIT News.
The Umbulizer team — including Sanchay Gupta, a Harvard Medical School student, and Hamza Khan, a Harvard Business School student — is developing an automated ventilator that keeps only four critical functions, reducing the price to around $2,000.

Learn more about Umbulizer and read the entire article to discover all the inventions with social impact that won awards at the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge.  Congrats to Umbulizer!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Japan's Retailers Benefit From E-Commerce and Overseas Expansion

©iStock/BestForLater91
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Candy Heaven

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All right reserved.
The Cafe & Bar, located at Dylan's Candy Bar on Chicago's Magnificent Mile and inside the world-famous Tribune Tower. Visit the Cafe & Bar along with two floors of candy heaven.  A complete Midwest must.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Inspiration Behind Compas Global

©iStock/chombosan
Knowledge@Wharton interviews Yin L. Yin, founding member and the COO of Compas Global, a three-year-old Silicon Valley provider of enterprise software that lets companies view, analyze and plan their global growth strategy on one aggregated dashboard.

The inspiration behind Compas Global was the ability to help technology companies do global expansion in a more structured and efficient way.

Read the interview here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Global Development of the French Economy Report

©iStock/MarcelloLand
The report below by Business France sheds light on the twin aspects determining the international development of the French economy, highlighting the gains to be made by businesses through the interplay between foreign investment and international trade.  BF can already see that companies that invest more often in France are also among those that export the most.

This is the role of BF, which is responsible for helping foreign investors prosper in the country, assisting them at every step of the way, and laying the groundwork for future prosperity.

Go here to access the report, which includes a listing of the top 5 American exporters in France (2016).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Export 24/7

©iStock/FotoCuisinette
Despite global economic uncertainty, the spirit of creativity and innovation are still driving the growth of companies globally and that's largely due to perseverance.  Small businesses should take advantage of technological innovations to connect with new customers and look to grow on a global scale. There are so many opportunities out there, waiting to be seized.

Yes, exporting can be intimidating but to help, FedEx compiled a list of tips for successful global expansion.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

10 Tips to Get You Ready for International Expansion

©iStock/z_wei
Back in the day when I was selling food products overseas, I [Laurel Delaney] received an order for one million bags of snacks. At the time, I was just getting started exporting food products, and a customer in Japan wanted to import the snacks for sale at a major baseball park.

My reaction? You can probably imagine.  It went from a feeling of euphoria to panic:  how will we ever service the order? 

It was a sign we had to go global or remain local. Let’s use my experience to walk through 10 tips to get you ready — just as I had to — for international expansion.

Read more to find out whether your business is ready for international expansion.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Factors to Consider When Taking Your Website Global

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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How Electricity Travels Inside Wires

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires." -- Dave Barry

Friday, April 13, 2018

SMEs Are Increasingly Looking Beyond the EU for the Future Growth Plans

©iStock/WINS86
Brexit is requiring small businesses to fundamentally reassess the way they do business internationally, with small business owners being forced to adjust to a vastly different trading landscape. That means looking beyond the European Union to new international markets to facilitate growth and expansion.

Many are investigating market that have a dedicated Amazon and eBay national site, a useful medium for online retailers seeking to break into new markets. "EU countries are still a major target for SMEs expansion plans, with 50% saying Germany was a priority foreign market, 44% saying France and 24% saying Italy," according to the Financial Director.
However, SMEs are increasingly looking beyond the EU for their future growth plans. 70% said that the US was a key priority for expansion, 41% said Australia and 27% said Canada, clearly indicating that large, developed and English-speaking nations lead the way outside of the EU. Beyond that, 16% said China was an opportunity for expansion, 12% said Japan and 9% said India.
Read more about how SMEs should tackle Brexit.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Artistically Made Maps Show How the World Viewed India Over the Centuries

©iStock/marzolino
As the article published in Quartz says:
Standing in front of these [India] spectacular maps, it becomes all the more clear what we stand to lose as cartography dies out in an era of GPS navigation and apps that do all the work for you. But preserving and protecting these rare maps is a challenge, especially in India where heritage conservation is often an afterthought, and it falls upon private collectors to keep these historic pieces safe.
Discover how a beautiful collection of rare maps shows how the world viewed India over the centuries.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Borders Are A Tumbling Down

©iStock/Thinglass
Remember Carol King's song "I Feel the Earth Move?"  Here are the lyrics:

"I feel the earth move under my feet 
I feel the sky tumbling down 
I feel my heart start to trembling 
Whenever you're around … "

Well try some new lyrics:

I feel the earth move under my feet 
I feel the borders tumbling down 
I feel my heart start to trembling 
Whenever I conduct global business … 

In all seriousness, the modern business picture is very different from the old established ways — and your business can take advantage of the potential that going global right from the start can bring to your business.

Let's have a look at why modern businesses should go global.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: How SMEs Are Unlocking Global Growth

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

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Let the Path be Beautiful

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads." -- Anatole France

Friday, April 06, 2018

How Can Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Implement Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

©iStock/chombosan
Matt D'Angelo, covering technology for Business.com, interviews John Sculley, former CEO of Apple and former President of Pepsi. Sculley helped build these gigantic brands and he now believes that artificial intelligence is going to change the face of small business and marketing.

One of the questions D'Angelo asks of Sculley during the interview is:
Q: How can small businesses and entrepreneurs implement artificial intelligence today?

A: Many marketing services are now embedding machine learning technology into their solutions. Many consumer companies are making the transition to personalized marketing. AI will be foundational for consumer products and services that want to target a specific consumer based on detailed personal data and match it with predictions of what might appeal to them. Oil and electricity fueled the 20th century world. Now smart data is the fuel for the 21st century world. 
Learn more from Sculley on what impact AI will have on small business marketing and discover his new enterprise, Zeta Global.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

How to Experience a Master's Degree Program Different From Your Own in Another Country

©iStock/bowie15
A good global education offers students exposure to complex issues facing business and society in different regions of the world.  It also offers a great travel and networking experience.
“I think [the Global Network Weeks] went really well,” de Paz [Managing Director of Global Initiatives] said. “Each school offers a module in which they have expertise, and students benefit from that knowledge that is not available at their home schools. It is always insightful [for students] to learn about master’s degree experiences different from their own in other countries and with different programs.
Learn more about how global education offers international exposure.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Ditching Cash on International Trade Transactions

©iStock/dmbaker
Browns of Brockley, southeast London, is among a growing number of small businesses in the U.K. that are ditching cash.
A recent report by ForexBonuses, a global trading website, found the U.K. is the third most cashless country in the world, after Canada and Sweden. Debit cards are forecast to overtake cash payments for the first time ever across the country this year, according to trade association U.K. Finance.
Read more about how a small firm started ditching cash and it's been great for business.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: The International Trade Tariff Battle

©iStock/cbles
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Join us for a WEGGinar™, How a Wicked Road Trip to Minturn, Colorado Inspired a Thriving Global Design Business, held on Wednesday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. Central time and presented by Julia Knight, founder of Julia Knight Collection.  Julia is the winner of the President's "E" Award for Exports, which was created by the Executive Order of the President of the United States. The WEGGinar™ is free of charge thanks to the generous support from IBM, UPS and Bank of America but you must sign up to attend: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8918865979114339587.
  • Chicago-area businesses are on the opposite side of the tariff battle.
  • When it comes to the total number of students who are studying for full degrees at IDC Herzliya at the international school, it makes the IDC Herzliya the most international university in the country.
  • Ever hear of IDC Herzliya?  I hadn't until now.
  • Ever hear of Hult?  Now you have.
  • And then there is Thunderbird where you can stand out in a world of possibilities.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Going Global is the Next Step for Startups

©iStock/baramee2554
Entrepreneur India spoke to entrepreneurs and investors to know why startups should consider global expansion after raising funds. We've known all along that launching an online company, even if it is to introduce who you are and what you do, instantaneously makes you accessible to customers worldwide.  Why not learn how to sell those customers sooner, rather than later?

Learn more on why global expansion should be the next step for startups after raising funds.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why Digital Transformations Fail

©iStock/Olivier Le Moal
Sometimes you think you are doing everything right but it still isn't good enough.  In the case of Tom Puthiyamadam, a principal with PwC US, based in New York, he shares a story on what he learned when a project he had been working on failed.
The project failed, we realized, for two key reasons. First, although the project’s goals were well defined, they were not communicated across the client’s departments. And second, we were thinking about how the company would work in the present, not how it would work in the future.
Learn more about what he discovered in his journey.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Many Small Independent Players Are Going Global

©iStock/Hakinmhan
It's not just the big restaurant chains (e.g., Tim Hortons, Freshii and Smoke's Poutinerie) going global, for many small independent players are making the jump, too. One such player is Kinka Family, which owns restaurant brands such as Kinka Izakaya and Kinton Ramen, and now has locations in Japan and South Korea.
Kinka's Japan location is a hybrid of the group's Kinka Izakaya banner and its Toronto sushi restaurant JaBistro, according to Ms. Yu [director of marketing and communications for Toronto-based Kinka Family]. The company has tweaked its international branding and menus to stand out in the Asian markets and bring some Canadian-inflected specialties.
Read more about how alternative growth -- international expansion -- can pay off big time for small players.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Helping Sellers Unlock Global Markets

©iStock/peshkov
Thai SMEs want to be competitive and expand their product offerings globally.  CloudCommerce is a one-stop solution for cross-border e-commerce. The channel aims to help sellers, many SMEs, unlock the potential of global markets by connecting with other popular e-marketplaces such as Facebook, Amazon and eBay.
The platform will enable SMEs to manage both e-marketplaces and stock, and will also connect with payment gateways worldwide as well as accommodate multiple languages and currencies. 
Read more on how SMEs are urged to embrace e-commerce.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: How to Build a Global Footprint

©iStock/chombosan
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Meet the startup CEOs going global with EY.
  • China pushes forward a new initiative to help small companies go global.
  • How to build a global footprint.
  • Pour yourself a cup of tea and then sign up for a WEGGinar™, How a Wicked Road Trip to Minturn, Colorado Inspired a Thriving Global Design Business, held on Wednesday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. Central time and presented by Julia Knight, founder of Julia Knight Collection.  Julia has created a thriving global design business and you'll hear how she did it. The WEGGinar™ is free of charge thanks to the generous support from IBM, UPS and Bank of America but you must sign up to attend: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8918865979114339587.
  • Breaking the barriers of expansion for SMBs and it starts with going global.
  • Is there a secret to achieving success with a business?  No.  There isn't.  But you can glean some insights from others who have come before you.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Today, Make a Mistake

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." -- Albert Einstein

Friday, March 23, 2018

Lessons From Experts on Going Global

©iStock/Siphotography
Expanding a business into a new overseas market oftentimes requires boots on the ground to ensure you understand local consumption patterns, marketing strategies and the regulatory environment.

In the article below, two experts, Igal Stolpner, Head of Growth and Marketing, Investing.com and John Pollard, Executive Vice President, Registry for Donuts Inc., share hard-won lessons and strategies that you can adopt at your business -- immediately.

Read more about tips for growing your business internationally.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Angel Investor: The Latest Insights and News on Angel Investing Worldwide

©iStock/designer491
Angel Investor magazine, published by World Business Angels Investment Forum, contains valuable insights and the latest news on angel investing around the world.  It is the only magazine in the world focusing on angel investing and early-stage equity markets.

In its current issue you will find interviews, opinions of guest editors, an in-depth focus on the Visegrad Four Group and insights into the Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem. You will also hear from the Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum: 6 reasons why 2018 is the year for angel investment to reach new heights.

What else does this new issue have for you?

Engaging interviews:
  1. Sweating Over Small Business Finance, Matthew Gamser of USA
  2. Taking Ownership of National Progress, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa of Qatar
  3. Shredding the Conventions of Scale-Up & Exit, Callum Laing of Singapore
  4. Joining the Dots, Bostjan Skalar of Slovenia
  5. Don’t Take the Bull by the Horns, Ari Korhonen of Finland
  6. Peppers & Rogers, Dr Abdul Malek Al Jabaar of Middle East
  7. Luxembourg’s Rocketing Space Business Industry, Étienne Schneider of Luxembourg
A diverse list of guest editors from around the world:
  • The Global Development of Chinese Entrepreneurs, Wang Hui of China
  • President Trump Chooses India, Dr Nikhil Agarwal of India
  • High-Impact Micro-Angels, Bridging Gaps, Prof Ketikidis and Adriane Thrash of Greece
  • Financial Advice R-Evolution, Paolo Sironi of Italy
  • Capital Carnaval As Brazilian Angel Investment Flourishes, Cassio Spina of Brazil
  • Spread Your Wings In Asia!, Andrew Work of Hong Kong
  • Developing India Through Rural Entrepreneurship, Zakir Hussain of India
  • Ten Truths About Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Norris Krueger of USA
  • Developing Entrepreneurs Who Will Change The World, Dr Hashim S Hussein of Bahrain
  • Realities of Female Entrepreneurship In North Africa, Douja Gharbi of Tunisia
  • The Davos of the Global Early-Stage Investment Community, Candace Johnson of France
  • Crowdfunding: Seeing Over the Crowd, Dr Charles Sidman of USA
  • From Idea to IDO in Six Months, Viktor Romaniuk Wanli of Poland
  • Growing Wings: Transitioning From CEO To Angel Investor, Paul Doany of Lebanon
  • 6 Keys to Unlocking Angel Investing Success, Baybars Altuntas of Turkey
  • The African Opportunity, Tomi Davies of Nigeria
You can download your complimentary copy here:  https://issuu.com/wbaforum/docs/angel_investor_2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cross-Border Data Flows Create New Digital Opportunities For Small Businesses

©iStock/FroYo_92
Cross-border data access, usage, and exchange are essential to economic growth in the digital age.  The world is experiencing unprecedented increases in connectivity and global data flows.
This is underpinning the so-called fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by end-to-end digitization of all assets and integration into a digital ecosystem.

According to Brookings, at its core, the digitization of economies and international trade should improve efficiency and increase productivity.

Learn more about how the internet and global data flows are a particular opportunity for small businesses to participate in international trade.

Download the report:  Global Economy and Development at Brookings | Regulating for a Digital Economy; Understanding the Importance of Cross-Border Data Flows in Asia by Joshua P. Meltzer and Peter Lovelock

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Sky is the Limit to Going Global

©iStock/Suat Gürsözlü 
In the past, successful entrepreneurs had to spend time and money hawking their wares at craft fairs or trade shows, but those days could be over. It’s possible for makers to instantly connect with a global buying community.

In this article, the author unknown, claims it is important for any business idea to be based on a strong foundation, and what this comes down to is identifying a demand that can be dynamically supplied globally.  The author addresses the following five points.
  1. Bringing great ideas together as one.
  2. Cutting out the middle men.
  3. Connecting the dots in real time.
  4. Doing much more with less.
  5. Bringing the wall down at last.
Read more about the secret weapon to go global with your idea or small business.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: The Irish Impact Edition

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Best Day of the Year: St. Patrick's Day!



"May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door,
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore!" -- Irish Blessing

Photos courtesy:  ©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2018

New Global Shipping App

©iStock/Lux_D
International express delivery services provider DHL unveils MyDHL+, an app aimed at the UAE to bring new levels of speed and simplicity to the cross-border shipping process.
Shippers ranging from small businesses to large global corporations will be able to benefit from MyDHL.
Read more about how and why DHL picked the UAE market to launch its new app.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

An Unrecognizable Brand Goes Global

©iStock/lzf
Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) is a new player from California that is climbing the ranks to take on rivals such as Nike and Adidas.  It is considered an unrecognizable brand that is going global.
APL is different from shoe brands like Nike and Adidas. These big labels have become household names and their logos are globally recognizable. But instead of competing by forcing recognition of its own logo, APL is lettings its design speak for itself.
Learn more about how APL is paying attention to its core customers and outshining the glimmer of the Nike Swoosh or the Adidas triple stripe.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is Coca Cola Killing the Business of its SME Distributors?

©iStock/Terroa
According to information gathered by a reporter, Coca Cola Company had about twelve distributors in Sierra Leone when it first started operations.  These distributors were known as Key Distributors, some as small business owners. They were responsible for the distribution of all Coca Cola products in the country.

Fast forward to now.
There is a court case looming between the Sierra Leone Bottling Company better known as Coca Cola Company and some of its former Manual Distribution Centres Operators. These Manual Distribution Centre Owners (MDCO) who were Small Business Entrepreneurs (SME) claim that Coca Cola Company has killed their businesses instead of supporting them.
Learn more about how SMEs are taking Coca Cola to court.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Enabler of Global Reach

©iStock/lucielang
How do you shine online to survive or thrive in the global marketplace?  You take it to either Amazon or eBay.

As one business owner puts it about eBay:
Selling on the eBay platform is a natural complement to your small business, your brick-and-mortar store. And it's an enabler of global reach. And so immediately, you go from being just, you know, a store maybe based in Akron [Ohio] to a store that people can see anywhere around the world.
As national public radio station WKSU reports, the eBay Retail Revival is a new project designed to help give local brick-and-mortar businesses, like the Akron, Ohio-based business owner, a global boost and eBay a new way to take on Amazon.

Read more about how eBay trains Ohio retailers to take on the world.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: The Trade War Edition

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

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Weather the Storm

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. 
©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. 
©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. 
©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"If you want to see sunshine, weather the storm." -- Frank Lane

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Be Ruthlessly Selective

©iStock/vladystock
The Global Small Business Blog helps you take your business global, which means increased revenues and profitability for your business.  Global expansion typically makes you become bigger -- number of employees, new markets and new products, for example.  Yet bigger on everything isn't always better.

For example, to get answers to growth challenges, your inner circle of confidants should stay small.  Oh really, you ask, when your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook fans might number in the thousands?

According to Harvard Business Review, they have advice on how to shrink it.

Here's one of their tips:
In other words, you need to be ruthlessly selective, because everyone in your core group also has an inner circle with which you will ultimately be connected, and those people will have an inner circle, and so on. 
They go on to say, "Carefully curate your most trusted, inner circle and you’ll be surprised at how much more valuable you’ll become to the larger community of people in the world who care about the same things you do."

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Can Any Country Slap on Tariffs Easily?

©iStock/celsopupo
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose a 25 percent tariff, or tax, on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

The questions that beg to be answered are:
  1. Why does Trump want to impose tariffs?
  2. Can any country slap on tariffs so easily?
  3. Why do stocks shift when tariffs are levied?
  4. What's a trade war?
  5. How are tariffs affecting negotiations to review the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
Learn more about how Trump's planned steel, and aluminum tariffs will affect you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Global Small Business Success: Identify An Unfilled Niche and Fill it

©iStock/beer5020
While Hubba CEO Ben Zifkin was searching for a birthday present for his wife, he identified an problematic situation and recognized it as a niche waiting to be filled.
Zifkin envisioned a B2B platform to connect brands with the right retail buyers. The point was to empower a new wave of emerging brands and help them grow in today's transforming world of commerce. 
Did he do it?  Yes, and to date the site has connected with more than 60,000 brands and retailers.

Read more about how Hubba helps you go global.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Women Are Driving the Global Economy

©iStock/julief514
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners: