Saturday, May 28, 2005

Going Global: MENA Business Women's Summit 2005 a HUGE Success!

Greetings everyone!

I am back from the Summit totally refreshed and reinvigorated from connecting with more than 200 vibrant Middle-Eastern, North African and American businesswomen in Tunis. We shared best practices, exchanged business ideas, networked like crazy and enjoyed each other's company immensely. All in all, I had an extraordinarily good time hanging out with people who are concerned about women's empowerment.

I wish to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people and organizations behind the summit: The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Executive Director Dr. Ray Smilor from The Beyster Institute (located at the Rady School of Management, University of California at San Diego) and President and CEO Karen Kerrigan of the American business women's association, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc (WE-Inc.). Without their tireless efforts and support, the Summit would not have been made possible. In addition, a special thanks to all the U.S. administration and experts who participated in the panel and workshop discussions. Lastly, a BIG thank you to all the participants for exchanging their wisdom, warmth and stories about what it is like to live and do business in the region.

Now, let's sustain our connectedness by continuing to share skills, contacts and knowledge with each other through this blog. If our reaching out is powerful enough, we will create a new blog that channels our energy and supports our collective interests. By working together, we can have a voice and openly challenge inequality on women's rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

I will be sending out a personal email to each and every one of you who were so kind as to turn over your business card to me during the Summit. When you receive it, please take a brief moment to post a comment below. That way, we can demonstrate our desire to expand the rights of women worldwide.

I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best for now,
Laurel Delaney

P.S. When you post a comment, be sure to use the "Other" selection so you can provide your name, affiliation (web site) and country.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Going Global: Reporting from Tunis

"10 Traits Women Entrepreneurs In The Middle-East and U.S.A. Have In Common"

I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with a number of Middle-Eastern and North African women entrepreneurs during the conference out here in Tunis. One of the exercises we participated in was a discussion about what we had in common at our table. Here's the list we came up with:

1. We are all women!
2. Intelligent.
3. Smart.
4. BOLD.
5. Passionate.
6. Highly stylistic.
7. Pro-active.
8. Internationally-minded (speak English).
9. We never give up.
10. Have a vibrant, fighting spirit.

Can all of you women entrepreneurs round-the-globe identify with these special traits that enable you to take on the world with your business?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Going Global: In Tunis!

I wanted to let all of you know that I made it to Tunis and I am already enjoying this beautiful place. However, culture shock has hit as I type this because the keyboard I am using not only is not the same as ours but has Arabic symbols too! That sentence should have taken 45 seconds to type and instead, took 8 minutes and most likely will cost me 10 U. S. dollars!

Back with you later.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Going Global: Traveling to Tunis tomorrow (5/21/05)!

Just a reminder to all that I will be leaving for Tunis tomorrow for a business conference and hope to blog about my experience while there. Here is additional press information for your review:

Women Entrepreneurs from U.S. and MidEast/North Africa Region to Connect in Tunis to Build Networks, Participate in Business Training Founder To Serve On U.S. Delegation For Summit In Tunisia

Talk to you from Tunis soon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Managing Brands in Global Markets: One Size Doesn't Fit All

In Knowledge@Wharton

Theodore "Ted" Levitt of Harvard Business School set the marketing world abuzz in 1983 with a bold prediction: Globalization had arrived, and before long global companies would be selling products and services in the same way everywhere on earth. Levitt's forecast was compelling -- and more than a little daunting for executives wondering how they would go about adapting to this brave new world of monolithic brands.

More than 20 years later, however, Levitt's prediction [Laurel here ... the name of Ted's powerful essay is "The Globalization of Markets" and even before Ted (1982), professors Thomas Hout, Michael Porter and Eileen Rudden wrote an equally dynamic case study called "How Global Companies Win Out"] has not come to pass, according to Wharton marketing professors George S. Day and David J. Reibstein, who note that only a handful of truly global brands exist today, despite the increased globalization of markets.

Which global brands are most valuable? What are the various levels of being truly global? Is it achievable or desirable to go global? Do you have to adapt your product or service to the local marketplace? Find out here.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Going Global: Tunis Conference To Provide Business Training For Arab Women

In Policy News

How exciting to participate in the Middle East Partnership Initiative for a three-day forum -- Leading Growth Companies: Business Women's Summit -- in Tunis May 24-26, 2005 featuring practical business training for almost 200 women entrepreneurs from 16 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa. I serve as a U.S. envoy member and what an honor to be selected. The invitation-only program has been developed by the Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management, at the University of California, San Diego. It is sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative at the U.S. Department of the State, and supported by WE, Inc., a leading businesswomen's organization in the U.S.

I am seeking reporters or journalists who are interested in conducting an interview or writing an article about how this program will help shape the direction for future activities that support women entrepreneurs and executives in the region.

My departure date for Tunis is Saturday, May 21st. If you are interested in exploring this global media "story" opportunity, please get in touch with me before then. I can be reached at 773-381-1700 or email me at, thank you!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Global Marketplace (China) Puts Pressure On Local Businesses

In Winona Daily News

If anyone understands how rapidly the world is changing, it's the small business person. Steve Hiatt, who owns Hiatt Manufacturing of Winona, gave listeners at the Winonate State University-hosted Economic Summit on Thursday some insights into the struggles he has faced in the past two years.

One struggle: There's a big difference between providing competitively priced steel to make motorbikes ...

vs. automobiles ...

How has he dealt with it? Find out here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 5/5/05


If you are not a subscriber to Borderbuster, here's a glimpse of what you missed this month:

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Small and Global: Germ Warfare*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Small Companies Take On The World*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // ProfitGuide (Canada)*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Kwintessential Country Profiles*
10. Overcoming the Challenges in China Operations
11. The Return of Japan, Inc.?
12. Don’t Blow the Negotiations With Your Outsourcing Firm*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

These days it seems if you’re not global, you’re missing all the action. Small- to mid-sized companies without the resources of mega brands face an uphill battle. Or do they? Here’s how underutilized companies use savvy supply chain strategies to stand out and compete with the big boys in the global marketplace.

To read the complete article, visit here.

To subscribe to Borderbuster, visit:
Sign Up For Borderbuster!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Globalization is here and it's good.

But succeeding takes work, forethought, and resistance to "idiots" who say borders protect us (could he be referring to Lou Dobbs?).

In CIO Insight

A well-worn map of the world stretches the entire length of one wall in Thomas Friedman's Washington, D.C., office. Friedman, a foreign-affairs columnist for The New York Times, has marked the map with star-shaped stickers of red, gold and blue to indicate the myriad places he's traveled during his Pulitzer Prize-winning career, but, lately, he has fallen behind. "My daughter and I have to update that," he says.

Friedman's map needs updating because he has just spent the past ten months circling the globe anew, researching and writing his forthcoming book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2005).

A follow-up to Friedman's best-selling The Lexus and the Olive Tree (his first attempt and a good one at that I might add -- because I read it twice -- to understand globalization ... he argued that economic interdependence equals prosperity and peace), The World Is Flat delves even deeper into the phenomenon he believes is reshaping the economic, cultural and political landscapes of the world.

Here's another mind-opening Friedman remark, "First of all, we need leaders who will dare to describe the world to us as it really is and make us smart, not make us stupid."

For anyone serious about going global, this is a brilliantly crafted must-read interview.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Are You a GODZILLA Global Marketer?

No? Then get going!

To become a GODZILLA global marketer, you must build a living global brand, understand the importance of local and global strategic alliances, develop a high global business IQ, create an export dream team, consider global marketing as a career and more. YES -- you can do it! Right here. Right now.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dialogue on Global Entrepreneurship Policy Takes Place June 15

In SBA's Office of Advocacy

This year, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) will return to the United States for its annual meeting, having held the previous two in Northern Ireland and South Africa. In cooperation with this event, the Office of Advocacy, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation, and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) are co-sponsoring a pre-conference session, Global Perspectives on Entrepreneurship Policy, which will focus on public policy issues as they pertain to entrepreneurs around the world.

In the sessions, participants will learn about the costs of entry for a new firm, workforce challenges, regulatory burdens, the importance of technology transfer and innovation, and small business financing issues from a wide variety of global experts. The full pre-conference program can be found here.

Local Success on a Global Scale


Much of the debate about global branding has centered on the question of whether global brands should attempt to speak with one voice around the world, or whether they should adapt to local cultures. A popular strategy for many brands has been to globalize logos, brand names and trademarks, while introducing product variations at the local level. But a few global brands have gone the extra mile and achieved what must be the best of all possible world -- acceptance as local brands nearly everywhere they do business.