Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Introducing billions of people into the trading economy is one of the biggest things that ever happened in the history of the world." ~ FedEx Chairman and Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith

Friday, April 29, 2011

Global Microcredit Has Great Potential

David Leonhardt (congrats David!) from the has a conversation with Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel, co-authors of a new book, "More Than Good Intentions."

First question:
You write that microcredit — small loans to poor people — “has generated more enthusiasm and support than perhaps any other development tool in history.” You agree that microcredit has great potential, but you also suggest that it’s been oversold. What’s known at this point about how it does, and does not, improve people’s lives?
Read more here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Export-Import Bank of the United States Continues to Offer Export Financing

Are you new to Ex-Im Bank?  If so, go here.  New to exporting?  Explore here.

Ready to take the plunge and find out everything there is to know about all the offerings from the Export-Import Bank of the United States?  Click here.

Now, don't say we didn't tell you about this little "financing exports" goldmine. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

World Dining: Find Your City Plates

not Neutral offers a line of "City Plates" which illustrate streets, highways and parks, for example, that make a city unique.  Thus far, they offer 20 different cities:

Collection 1: Berlin, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Cairo.
Collection 2: New Orleans, Washington DC., Las Vegas and Dubai
Collection 3: New York, St. Petersburg, Brasilia, Melbourne
Collection 4: London, Rome, Mexico City and Tokyo.
Collection 5: Chicago, Montreal, Paris and Mumbai.

The 12" diameter porcelain plates -- priced U.S. $50/plate -- are individually boxed with a key.  Purchase the full collection of 20 cities here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chart Your Export Strategy: Global Strategic Alliance Is a Choice

If you've gotten about as far as you can on your own in charting your export strategy, it's a good time to consider joining forces with another company of similar size and market presence that is located in a foreign country where you are already doing business, or would like to.  That's called forming a global strategic alliance.

Here's how it works and what it can and cannot do for you.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, April 25, 2011

An Oldie But Goodie Article: Grow As You Go Global

A going global article titled, "Expanding Internationally:  Grow as You Go," published by Inc. May 1, 1998, makes a good and still relevant case about financing global expansion as global revenue comes in -- not before.

Read it here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Girls: Rule the World

©Laurel Delaney 2011.  All rights reserved.
"I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl.  I want to rule the world." -- Madonna

Friday, April 22, 2011

Successful Growth Strategies for Global Entrepreneurs

According to a report titled Global Entrepreneurship and Successful Growth Strategies of Early-Stage Companies and released by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Stanford University, SPRIE and STVP:
The top 1% of companies from among 380,000 companies reviewed across 10 countries contribute 44% of total revenue and 40% of total jobs while the top 5% contribute 72% of total revenue and 67% of total jobs.
Download PDF (380-page report) here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Import and Export: Join the Discussion

Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock
These things take time and dedication (I've got both) -- join in on the discussion over at the Import and Export site:

Welcome to the Import and Export Forum! 

Connect with you there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Got a Customer Overseas Who Wants 25,000 Widgets?

The perfect scenario for how to source, produce and finance an overseas export. My latest contribution for American Express OPEN Forum through Small Business Trends.
Got a customer overseas who has asked you to export 25,000 umbrellas?  Fantastic—here's how.
Questions? Email me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chinese Companies Going Global More Than Ever

According to Scott Kronick, President of Ogilvy PR in North Asia, Chinese companies are going global.
However, one of the issues that Chinese companies have to contend with when going abroad is how to compete in the global market, and at times, under different business rules then they may be used to here in China.
Listen in ... here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Uncertainty Is The Norm When Studying Abroad

Doesn't that hold true for just about everything these days:  uncertainty is the norm?

Take a look at what's happening with study abroad programs.  To experience life, you have to put yourself out there, take chances, minimize serious risks (hazards) and still move forward on great ideas.  Resiliency and adaptability helps here too.

Read the entire article:
Study Abroad in Hot Spots (

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Expanding Internationally Is Loaded With Potential

In 2009, Varna Products, a division of Transportation Research Corp., apparently had zero international sales.  Now, sixty (60) percent of the company's business is generated overseas.

Here's how it happened (requires registration to read entire article):

Small businesses go global to bolster sales.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can Globalization Deliver On The Vision of Common Good?

Carolyn Woo takes a stab at answering the question.  But an even bigger question is this:  How can globalization, through business, serve society?  Ms. Woo covers that too.

Read:  The Global Good
Notre Dame Magazine

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

E-Exporting Tools For Small Businesses

The new "A Basic Guide to Exporting,” the official government resource for small and medium-sized businesses, is offering the following for FREE:
Chapter 11, “Going Online: E-Exporting Tools for Small Business."  This entirely new chapter provides a primer on how the Internet has extended the reach of business.   Read now (download a PDF file).
And if that's not enough, there's always:  Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business -- where the entire book is free for reading.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, April 11, 2011

World: It's Not Personal, It's Business

President Barack Obama has been criticized as being a bit chilly -- need I say more impersonal -- in his dealings with other world leaders.
"My own sense is that he doesn't really have good buds" among world leaders, said Peter Hakim, president emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue, a think tank. "He can pick up the phone and talk to any leader and get a good response, but it's business."
How could it be any other way?

Read:  "For Obama, It's Business Before Friendship With World Leaders," The Republic

Saturday, April 09, 2011

One of the Sweetest Places On Earth: Hershey's Chicago Retail Store

©Laurel Delaney 2011.  All rights reserved.
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." ~ Charles M. Schulz

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, April 08, 2011

In Our Brave New World, America Will Lead Innovation

Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a longtime observer of technology development in Asia, argues that the threat of America losing its innovation edge has been overblown.

The U.S., with a culture and institutions that encourage individual initiative, risk taking, and collaboration, is uniquely positioned to lead in innovation.
Read the entire article, "The Innovation Advantage" at Strategy and Business

Catch Adam's book here.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Small Businesses Lead the Way On Illinois Exports

©Laurel Delaney, John Hancock Building and the Old Chicago Water Tower, Chicago, Illinois (4/2/11)
A recent blog post I wrote for Crain's Chicago Business:

Small Firms Can No Longer Ignore Globalization

Find out how the little shakers and movers -- entrepreneurs and small businesses -- lead the way on Illinois exports.

A total of 16,902 companies exported goods from Illinois locations in 2008. Of those, 15,170 (90%) were small and medium-sized enterprises, with fewer than 500 employees.

Small and medium-sized firms generated over one-fifth (22%) of Illinois' total exports of merchandise in 2008.
Read the entire post here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

America's Favorite Pies: Are They Exportable?

I visited a couple of these places online (refer below) to see whether they ship anywhere in the world.  Many ship within the United States.

Think there's an export opportunity here?

If the companies can freeze product and ship safely locally, which many are, there's a good chance they can take their product across borders (a little more expensive on the shipping but to customer overseas, I suspect they'd be willing to pay to try an unforgettable American pie).

America's Most Unforgettable Pies

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Is Manufacturing the Primary Driver of Innovation?

Is it too late for the United States to regain its competitive footing regarding innovation and creating high-tech products?

Professors Gary Pisano and Willy Shih have something to say about this hot topic.

Read: "Why Manufacturing Matters," HBS Working Knowledge

One of the key concepts in their Q&A is:
Exporting manufacturing has a negative impact on the country's industrial commons, which represents the collective capability to sustain innovation.
Be sure to read the reader's comments -- very thought-provoking.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Sees New Era of Glamour For Youth in China

With your business, how will you capitalize on it?
Like other designers, such as American Diane Von Furstenberg and Italian Miuccia Prada, Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana have made multiple expeditions to China to understand what is driving China's shoppers. What they've found in their tours across Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, is that Chinese consumers are far flashier than their American counterparts, said Mr. Dolce.

"Chinese are eccentric, and they will wear the flowers and the lace," said Mr. Dolce, explaining that the industry as a whole has largely catered to consumers who wanted plain and frill-less fashion. "Chinese aren't afraid to be more," he said.
Read the entire article published in The Wall Street Journal:
Dolce and Gabbana to Expand in China
by Laurie Burkitt

Saturday, April 02, 2011

World: Be Happy in the Moment

©Laurel Delaney, Pratt and the lake, Rogers Park, Illinois, U.S.A.
"Be happy in the moment - that's enough.  Each moment is all we need - not more." ~ Mother Teresa

Friday, April 01, 2011

The World in 2050

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
The World Entrepreneurship Forum has published a 'White Paper' focusing on “The World in 2050” which was the theme of the 2010 edition of the Forum.
Identifying four major challenges our world will face, the White Paper focuses on key recommendations, using case studies to illustrate its proposals, and featuring its commitments for a deep, broad and quick change.
Click here to download the White Paper.

Full disclosure:  I am a member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum and serve on their Advisory Board.