Friday, May 30, 2008

How To Setup Shop in the UK

Thinking about setting up shop in the UK? You can't beat this low-risk opportunity but better hurry ... it's next Wednesday (6/4) in Chicago!
From Mary Rabatin, Vice President, North America, The British Midlands, Chicago, IL (312-321-0217 -- contact her to receive the eight-page PDF file on the program -- very useful information)

Bridge2Growth is a public-private partnership between the UK local government and qualified professional service companies. We are a 501(c)(3) organization that provides free assistance to North American companies looking to set up a physical presence in the Midlands region of the UK.

The service companies involved provide a list of free services to participating companies as a way to acquire new customers. For example HSBC will set up your UK bank account for free hoping that your banking needs will grow as the company grows.

The web page is set up specifically for the event for ease of registration. We wanted few clicks and concentration on the seminar details.

Participants of the program are able to get their company registered with Companies House (The official UK government register of UK companies) for free through our partnering law firm of Matineau Johnson. Like HSBC, this Midlands based law firm is providing registration free in the hopes that any future legal matters will be presented to their firm. There is no obligation however.

If a company is interested in visiting the Midlands UK region, we put together a two day Delegation Tour about every quarter. The cost during the two days is subsidized (hotel and meals) however airfare and travel beyond the tour is not covered.

Thus far we have a good turnout of companies registered for the Bridge2Growth event next week in Chicago. It is a straightforward program that we are very proud of. We do the paperwork and the company grows their business.

Hope you are able to make it. I would be pleased to meet you.
For more information and to register for the June 4 Chicago program, go here. Not sure if I can make it but am trying ... hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Best Blog Around On The Subject Of Small Business Going Global

According to U.S. News & World Report, it just happens to be The Global Small Business Blog! A HUGE thanks to reporter Matthew Bandyk!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tapping Emerging Markets

Do you keep a good contact list and stay in touch with people worldwide? You should. You never know when you might strike it big in an overseas market.

The article, Overseas Market Still Evolving, talks about how one of the challenges for Canadian law firms in a global economy is helping clients tap emerging markets. They do it by building relationships overseas with local investment bankers, law firms and accountants. They seem to be attempting to penetrate India first.

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


A new blog -- Growthology by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and authored by two economists -- on the topic of entrepreneurship which includes [wanting to] changing the world. Hopefully we will see some posts on global growthology.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

2008 National Small Business Summit

NFIB and eBay are putting on an important small business conferences in Washington, D.C. from June 8-11. This is one you don’t want to miss, especially if you want to connect with like-minded small business folks.

For more about what to expect over the three-day conference and to register, visit here. All events take place at the Grand Hyatt unless otherwise indicated.

P.S. Not sure about a global focus here ... I imagine Meg Whitman, former president and CEO eBay, Inc., will talk about eBay's growth outside the U.S. and how small business users are driving that growth.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Follow up on 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness


The National Summit on American Competitiveness (view webcast here) was held in Chicago yesterday at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel. The Summit provided a chance to explore new ways to help America succeed in the 21st century. The global marketplace played a big role in the overall discussions. A recap is as follows.

Panel 1
: Deborah Wince-Smith, Michael Porter, Maria Bartiromo, Craig Barrett, Louis Gerstner and W. James McNerney, Jr.

Maria Bartiroma, Anchor and Editor, CNBC

Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation

Louis Gerstner, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Boeing Company

Deborah Wince-Smith, President, Council on Competitiveness
Panel 2: Beth Williams, Steven Odland, James Phillips, Carl Schramm, Steven Chen, John Koten and Sandy Baruah, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Carl J. Schramm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Steven Chen, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, YouTube

John Koten, Chief Executive Officer, Mansueto Ventures LLC, Editor-in-Chief, Inc. and Fast Company

Steven Odland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Office Depot

James M. Phillips (old bio), Managing Partner, Pinnacle Investments, LLC

Beth Williams, President & Chief Executive Officer, Roxbury Technology Corporation

Panel 3
John Engler, President and Chief Executive Officer National Association of Manufacturers

Rick Goings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tupperware Brands Corporation

Robert W. Lane, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deere & Company

James Owens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Caterpillar

Matthew Slaughter, Professor of International Economics, Dartmouth College

Panel 4

Henry Paulson, Jr., U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Haley Barbour, Governor, State of Mississipi

Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago

Mark Drabenstott, Director, RUPRI Center for Regional Competitiveness, University of Missouri-Columbia

Janet Napolitano, Governor, State of Arizona

Mark Sanford, Governor, State of South Carolina

My notes from this extraordinary event (missed Panel 4):

• America continues to lead the world.
• Get into the global game.
• In the United States, you are: Free to compete. Free to innovate. Free to start a business. Free to fail and start again.
• How to remain competitive.
• We must frame our thoughts around three vital components that make America strong: 1. Trade barriers (lowering them). 2. Entrepreneurship. 3. Learning (lifelong).
• Businesses less than five years old create more than 1/2 of our jobs in our country.
• Free enterprises grow and fail.
• Accessibility of markets worldwide, make it easy to go global.
• Our exports are up from 12 percent to 18 percent for the same period last year.
• Exports create jobs.
• Free trade agreements generate preferential access to markets -- good thing.
• The world economy is growing at the fastest pace ever.
• Economic strength is at the heart of our democracy.
• Economic growth and economic competitiveness is key to our country's success.
• Education is important.
• We have the strongest innovation system on the face of the earth.
• Human resources is a challenge for us. Education is a challenge for us.
• Be open to competition. Tackle challenges!
• We are becoming a nation of ignorant people. We have a terrible education problem.
• We must give an incentive (compensation plus more) for teachers wanting to teach and to become teachers of excellence.
• Whenever we see it, we must take on the status quo. Go for it.
• It's not about Johnny (or Jane I might add) can't read; it's about whether America can succeed.
• We must learn skills.
• On our innovative activity, we must stay focused.
• We are selling advanced services, that's what the United States is doing.
• On the question of what country are you the most worried about (thinking it would be China or India, for example), one panelist answered: United States.
• We must implement a national skills strategy.
• We are the most dynamic entrepreneurial economy in the world.
• Immigration is the first sure-fire sign of entrepreneurship in our country; dealing with the unknown; making a way.
• There is a predominant nature for entrepreneurs to use credit cards to finance a business.
• Most of the brightest ideas take place during the 18-24 age bracket (don't necessarily agree!).
• We must "make a difference, not just a profit" with our businesses (totally agree!).
• We must encourage more of the entrepreneurial spirit at all levels ... from peer to peer to family members to strangers.
• The Internet creates more awareness (good marketing vehicle).
• It's really a ... "Celebration about possibilities!" -- Steven Odland, Office Depot.
• We have a new wave of entrepreneurs spanning across all ages.
• Final note: "Take a chance!"

The luncheon included award recipient Michael Porter and Chicago's Mayor Daley gave a powerful keynote address. The reception was hosted by The Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ethiopian Coffee Brand Goes Global

In case you missed it, the Ethiopian government commissioned a small design firm to come up with a logo that will make consumers feel like they are drinking a luxury when they have Ethiopian coffee.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Globalization of Higher Education

Last night I read an interesting article by Richard Skinner in the Trusteeship Magazine published by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Its title is It IS a Small World After All: Globalization of Higher Education (Page 8 in offline copy only) and it is about what role should governing boards play in overseeing international education.

I can't seem to find a direct link to it online but you can download the March/April 2008 digital edition in its entirety here.

Here's an excerpt:

Not in Kansas Anymore
Globalization may well have, as Thomas Friedman asserts, flattened the world. ATMs make cash available on every continent. KFC is a universally recognized brand. Rap music is heard everywhere. Still, cultural differences persist; indeed, without them there would be little point in promoting internatinal engagement as multicultural experience.
Worth a read.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Risky Business Blog

A new blog published by U.S. News & World Report will focus on the world's most important person: the entrepreneur. And we are honored to make the favorites list! Thank you Matt and good luck! Let us know how we can continue to assist in the global small business arena.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weak Dollar Slows Down Studying Abroad

Over the past two years, the dollar, while up a tad from recent lows, has lost more than 20% of its value against the euro and about 6% against the pound. The result: While programs in places like Rome, Paris, Barcelona and London are still at the top of students' (like Emily Flatt and Tyler Perkins pictured) lists, enrollment there is slowing. And interest in alternative destinations -- Asia, Africa and Latin America -- is surging.

Find out what students are doing to ward off sticker shock here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

5 Steps To Opening An Office in China

It takes a lot of grunt work and perseverance to pull it off. If you follow these suggested steps, it might make your journey a little easier.

Many of you have experience in conducting business and/or setting up shop in China. Care to weigh in by either challenging the steps or adding to them?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Keep America Open to Trade

Agree or disagree?

We welcome your comments.

Great quote:
America is a launching pad for courageous creativity, with bold entrepreneurs churning out innovation after invention after idea.
Read the commentary authored by Messrs. Carlos Gutierrez and Arnold Schwarzenegger here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Top Export Markets

The world according to authors Stephanie Clifford, Darren Dahl, Jason Del Rey, Ryan Mccarthy, and Nitasha Tiku.

"Trading Places"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is America The Most Competitive Economy in the 21st Century?

We will soon find out. Please join me May 22nd in Chicago when The 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness
will convene the nation's premier leaders of business, government and academia on what steps the public and private sectors can take to secure America's position as the most competitive economy in the 21st century and beyond.

It's filling up fast! Register here. See you there.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Global Competition

High Tech Computer, a hardly-known but rapid-growing Taiwanese gadget maker, unveiled a touch-screen smartphone called Touch Diamond.

Looks like Apple has some healthy global competition coming its way against the iPhone .

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dissecting, Acting and Strategizing on Global Trends

Worth a look. May require a quick registration (complimentary).

The McKinsey Quarterly: Globalization

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dubai: Sandcastles in the Sky

Have you looked at Dubai for business? It is considered the financial mecca of the Middle East.

AlwaysOn has a pretty comprehensive writeup about the author's experience visiting there -- here.

Explore what it's like to do business in the U.A.E. -- here.

Find trade opportunities here.

Additional market research here.

Local travel information and city guide Dubai City.

Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

My favorite ... Burj Dubai.

And for fun ... I'll throw this in ... Ski Dubai (virtual tour).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hot, Flat and Crowded

The book claims to be a rousing manifesto for our climate-challenged future.

The front cover says:
Why we need a green revolution -- and how it can renew America.
He's back.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Reformulating the Oreo to Sell to the World

Kraft has scored in China thanks to reformulating its best-selling American Oreo cookie to local tastes.

What's the China Oreo like? It's long, thin, four-layered and coated in chocolate.

Great case study. Watch the video and read more here.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

GEM Report on Women and Entrepreneurship

Women’s entrepreneurship matters. Women are creating and running businesses around the world, contributing to economies that represent more than 70% of the world’s population and 93% of global GDP (2007).

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports on it comprehensively. Read more here.

To access the report click here.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Go Global

Last week while in Boston attending the Women Presidents' Organization annual conference, I had the great pleasure to sit-in on a talk given by Ms. Sung-Joo Kim (pictured), Chairperson & CEO, Sungjoo Group/MCM Group, on the topic of "Women's Strengths: 21st Century Competitiveness."

Her global business success is largely attributed to her ability to innovate as a designer, as a businesswoman, and as the re-inventor of world-renowned brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonia Rykiel and Marks & Spencer.

She shared tips for success -- one of them naturally is going global so I could not help but take a picture of the slide -- on how to think and innovate in the midst of our ever-changing and highly competitive global marketplace.

She is an inspiration to us all. Visit her companies here:

MCM Worldwide
Global Sung Joo Group
Kim Sung Joo

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Are There Myths to Global Marketing?

Globally, one size or solicitation may not fit all but you have to start somewhere -- right? Tailor your message as you grow globally. Read more here.

To find out if your business is ready for international expansion, take alook at this.