Friday, January 30, 2009

Davos Delivered

Take in what's happening at the Annual Meeting Davos, 2009.

Valerie Jarrett, key assistant to USA President Barack Obama, says this:
We must enter a "new era of global financial responsibility."
World Economic Forum: Global Agenda (2009)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going Global Out of the Gate

Going global from day one, OleOle is a start-up founded by an American with a Chief Technology Officer who is a New Zealand resident. Much of OleOle's technology development is done in its New Zealand office.
The product is a social media platform for football (also known as soccer in the United States and New Zealand), with 10 language versions.
It began development in 2006, opened as a public beta in 2007 and officially launched in April this year.
Read more here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Localization Solutions in a Global Marketplace

Choosing a good-fit localization vendor such as Globalization Partners, CSOFT, Eriksen, LinguaLinx or Common Sense Advisory, for example, is not an easy feat. But you must at some point because going global is a good route for companies looking to weather the economic downturn.

Ms. Shunee Yee, CEO of CSOFT -- a localization/globalization firm -- says this:
Expansion into new markets can help companies stave off the ill effects of a volatile domestic economy. While gaining access to the global marketplace was once reserved for only the largest multinational companies, recent advancements in communication technology and trade have allowed companies of all sizes to enter the international arena. A critical step in reaching global markets is a well-crafted globalization strategy that allows for efficient product deployment that meets local cultural and language requirements. Localization has become the answer for businesses worldwide seeking to enter new markets efficiently and effectively.
More from CSOFT here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Despite Economy, Ultra Large Ships Serve the World

Thinking about moving all the contents out of your three-bedroom house and from one country to another? We know one of a handful of shipping lines you need to hire! No problem.

They have the capacity (more than ever right now due to tough times for global trade) to move 22,000 containers at a time. Yes, you read that right.

Read more here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year of the Ox

May the New Year of the Ox bring you all the best -- happiness, good health, great prosperity (through fortitude and hard work) and abundant blessings in 2009.

Voice of America: Chinese Welcome the Year of the Ox.
Time: The Chinese Zodiac

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Small Businesses Will Shape Our Future

Tough times call for smart action. And it's inspiring to see that there is an intelligent program available that identifies small businesses with the greatest potential -- offered with the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Emerging 200 (e200) Initiative.

e200 helps small inner-city businesses that have substantial potential for growth connect with high-level training, networking and other resources that can help them succeed. The program was launched in 2007 in Milwaukee and nine other cities. This spring it will be expanded to 15 more.
"Programs like e200 are important because they help people create capacity," says Eric Ness, SBA district director for Wisconsin. "That's something we must do if we're going to be competitive in a global economy."
Small businesses will continue to help shape our future.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Global Shopper Study

A new global shopper study, “Shopper Decisions Made In-Store” (SDMIS,) reveals what’s truly happening in the world’s retail shopping aisles. An excerpt:
What works in China won’t work in Germany. Shoppers behave differently inside the store in every country.

Shoppers in China decide what category to buy from, which brand to choose and how much they will buy inside the store 88 percent of the time, but in Germany that number plummets to 38

No two countries are exactly alike. So when it comes to marketing to a Shopper, Marketers can think globally, but always need to act locally, armed with local expertise on how best to engage the Shopper in each country.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Way The World Works

According to Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, something meaningful is happening worldwide (and it didn't just start yesterday in the U.S.A.).

A question he poses:
Ask yourself: As the planet becomes smarter, is my company—or my country—becoming smart enough to keep up, and to win?
Find out his thoughts here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On a Wing and a Global Prayer

Miracles happen.

• iReporter: "It looked liked a perfectly smooth landing."
• AP: Survivors offer praise, gratitude after NY crash
• The Times: US Airways Plane Crashes in Hudson River
• 1549 to Tower: "We're Gonna End Up in the Hudson" -- includes video clip.
• Major hero: Pilot Chesley B. Sullenberg III (miracle, yes, but Sullenberg is also a glider pilot and extraordinarily smart -- we are all very blessed to have had him in charge)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Small Exporter in China

I am a small exporter in China, and I have been deeply depressed because of the financial crisis. Please give me your advice about how to survive in this difficult time for small business owners, especially Chinese facing the downturn of the exporting market. ~ D.L., Dalian, China
Read BusinessWeek columnist Karen Klein's response here.

And I add: You can't cut your way to prosperity. Start innovating, get lean and look for and seize opportunities wherever in the world it makes sense (like an economy that is "open for business"). When things pick up, explore more options here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Be conservative. Stay liquid. Don't retire.

Read more of what Thunderbird (School of Global Management) Professor F. John Mathis, Ph.D., sees when he looks into the future.

Also take a good look here for more interesting research and opinion pieces, especially here.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get Tough On Trade

The news is everywhere on how trade is declining sharply around the world. And it's hitting big and small companies. According to a WSJ article (1/14/09):
Falling trade also is cutting the U.S. trade deficit because imports are falling more than exports -- in November, U.S. imports fell 12 percent from the previous month compared with 5.8 percent for exports. The deficit shrunk to $40.4 billion from $56.7 billion in October; it was the smallest deficit in five years. That in turn helps raise estimates of U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product.
Despite the grim news, this is not a time for you to hunker down. It's a time to get tough, develop your global strategy and run a lean, mean global business machine. Check in here periodically for tips, resources and articles to keep you going and to learn as much as you can about expanding your business internationally. It can be done -- but you must stay focused. Visit here for some good advice too.

When the sun breaks through the dark economic clouds, you will be poised to take on the world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

America in the World

Take a look at The free, BOLD initiative (supported by ads) will offer frequent dispatches for an American audience to supplement coverage from the AP, Reuters and other news organizations still covering the world.

GlobalPost intends to sell stories that cut across national boundaries and tie the world together -- to papers to run in print or online. Their mission statement is here.

Startup feature question: What does the idea of America mean to the world? To find out, read: For Which It Stands

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Small Business Advocate Could Head Ex-Im Bank

Fred Hochberg, a longtime advocate of small business, could head Ex-Im Bank. Ex-Im Bank mission: To finance sales that the private sector considers too risky to fund on its own. Hochberg currently is dean of Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.

Hochberg has a diverse business background:

• Held top positions at SBA (under Clinton administration).
• Was in direct sales industry positions.
• Spent bulk of his business career at Lillian Vernon Corporation, leading the transition from private enterprise to publicly traded company (president from 1989-1993). It appears he is the son of Lillian Vernon.

Ex-Im Bank has made an effort to emphasize lending to smaller companies -- $3.2 billion of its $14.4 loan authorizations last fiscal year went to finance exports by small firms.

"The SBA must assert itself more aggressively in the area of procurement to ensure that small businesses are receiving a greater share of federal contracts," he wrote in a 2006 op-ed in Inc. magazine.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Introducing Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG)

We are happy to report the launch of a new social enterprise, Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG / WEGG will bring global opportunity to women entrepreneurs worldwide.

The Global Small Business Blog is the first official sponsor to WEGG.

Check out the roster of consequential thought-leaders who, when they have something juicy and relevant to report, will be contributing to WEGG:

Sharon Barner
, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends LLC
Raman Chadha, Executive Director of the Depaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center and on the faculty of the highly ranked academic program in entrepreneurship
Linda Darragh, Director of entrepreneurship programs for the Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship
Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization
Suzy Fox, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, HRER, Loyola University Chicago — primary research interests center around the well-being of employees in the global workplace
Dawn Harris, Ph.D., Director, Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, Loyola University Chicago
Mary Joyce, Network Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, Midwest Export Assistance Centers
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc.
Steve King, Founding Partner, Emergent Research
Carolyn Okels, Founding Partner, Emergent Research and Small Business Labs
Leslie Schweitzer, Senior Trade Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Creator of the TradeRoots Initiative
Whenever you see a WEGG badge (noted above), it means the person is an official expert (as I am -- look at The Global Small Business Blog right sidebar) and contributor to WEGG.
We wish to thank Rosa Berardi, Program Manager, The Coleman Foundation for her special assistance and support to WEGG and, of course, we wish to thank our contributors for their willingness to share their knowledge.

Please visit us as often as you like (men are welcome too because a couple of our WEGG experts are men and some of the information will apply to both men and women alike). And definitely let us know when you catch any news, resources, research, events or women entrepreneurs doing great things worldwide that relates to Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cold Snowy Chicago Winter

Above is a glimpse of what the weather is like in Chicago. Lots of snow with chilly winds. I bundled up, did some shoveling and took a daring walk by the lake to capture this moment.

Hope it's a little more bearable in your part of the world.

In the meantime, wet-cold-rain-snow, the folks at Wal-Mart are building an international empire.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Globalization Repaired

Chris White over at Good Gold Global was kind enough to comment about a Newsweek article, "How To Fix Globalization," in our Re-embrace Globalization post and I wanted to make sure everyone saw it.

Read more here. At the same time, check out The Global Elite video on the 50 most powerful people in the world.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Blog Series On Internationalizing Your Company

Over at the OPEN Forum by American Express, I'm doing a blog series on internationalizing your company. Here's Part 2: Building Your Crack Export Team of what will become a 5-part series.

And the usual ... if you find it useful, say so. If not, let me know why. Many thanks.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Borderbuster 2009

In case you are not a subscriber to our world famous Borderbuster e-newsletter (, we want to share point No. 8 of today's edition.

On October 23, 2008, at a conference developed by Big Think and sponsored by strategy+business, financier George Soros, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Merton discussed and debated the current global financial crisis in New York City. Tom Stewart, the chief marketing and knowledge officer of Booz & Company, moderated the event, which took place at City University of New York.

Tune-in to the videocast here.

=> Don't miss another edition of Borderbuster in 2009. Sign up here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Re-embrace Globalization

In case you missed it, The Economist has a special edition out called The World in 2009. Pick up a copy. It's worth a read, especially the Time to Re-embrace Globalization commentary by Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric.

He urges business and political leaders to embrace competition, not protectionism, as the way through economic turmoil and his last Point No. 6 is spot-on:

6. Each of us must contribute. Developed and developing countries, governments and industry, shareholders and employees -- we all share a responsibility to make meaningful contributions to protect and strengthen the international trading system.

Thomas Edison, GE's founder, used to say that people don't recognize opportunity because it "usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work." To succeed in our swarming global economy, leaders must not resist the challenge but relish the opportunity, especially in these harder economic times. True leaders must re-embrace globalization.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Take the Plunge: Borderbust in 2009

Global entrepreneurship in action! We are happy to report that a simple, reflective walk by the lake -- one year ago today capturing an experience -- has brought fun, joy and fame (a little) into my life.

On the eve of our new year, I was notified that I am a finalist for the 1,000 Words Annual Photo Issue contest through the Chicago Reader. Winners will be announced in the next couple of days by a drawing (which I am relieved to hear because if they seriously judged with a panel of experts, my photo (as shown above) would never cut it against the 23 others; you absolutely must take the time to view them all ... powerful, creative work).

Backstory on photo: It's Polar Bear Plunge Day in Rogers Park, Illinois where I live and folks on the first day of the new year strip off their clothes and jump into the lake regardless of what the temperature is. How wild is that?! There must be similar sorts of traditions in other parts of the world (please share). And on this particular day, 1/1/08, when I took the photo, it was 22 degrees F.

So whether you realize it or not, global entrepreneurship plays into every aspect of our life. A natural, self-expressive act -- anywhere in the world -- can end up generating revenue. In this case, if we win, a U.S. $150 Best Buy gift certificate will be ours to spend as we see fit (maybe donate to a worthwhile social enterprise). But isn't that what global entrepreneurship is all about? Making a living out of doing good, setting out to change the world and pursuing a passion?

Let's keep our fingers crossed that we come out a winner in 2009! Stay tuned.

Now to you my reader. It's your turn. Take the plunge and borderbust in 2009. Let's work together to make that happen. You'll come out a winner too!

Happy New Year!