Thursday, May 31, 2018

In the World of Architecture, Nothing is More Utilitarian than a Bridge

It's in bridges that some of the world's biggest architects show what their creative minds are capable of.
From the Zaha Hadid–designed bridge in Abu Dhabi, to perhaps the lesser known Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran (shown), AD [Architectural Digest] rounds up 18 of the world's most beautiful bridges.
The author, Nick Mafi, says, "In function, they [bridges] allow us to reach the other side of the divide. In form, however, they do something else entirely."

View the most beautiful bridges in the world.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Promoting Job Creation and Economic Growth in Rwanda

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, made a $10 million investment to I&M Bank (Rwanda), which will focus on supporting smaller businesses operating in Rwanda’s tourism, agriculture, and trade and commerce sectors, the backbone of economic growth in the country.  By lending to small businesses, IFC+I&M Bank are promoting job creation and economic growth in Rwanda.

SMEs account for 98 percent of all businesses in Rwanda, and contribute more than half of its total gross domestic product.

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Spoonful of Sugar

The London house formerly owned by actress Julie Andrews (“Mary Poppins” and "Sound of Music") and her late husband, filmmaker Blake Edward (“The Pink Panther”) is for sale. They lived in the house in the 1970s.  Margaret Thatcher once lived next door.
Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park are within walking distance. A wide array of restaurants and cafes ranging from Dominique Ansel Bakery to Starbucks are within walking distance. Boutiques, restaurants, a cigar shop, a florist, and other [global] small business that lend a village vibe to the area can be found nearby on Elizabeth Street.
Learn more.  Oh, and the price is $32.4 million.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Remembering Those Who Have Served Our Nation (USA)

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

How About 61 Donuts?

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"It's nice to have my mother as someone I can talk to about acting. My dad's a director, so when he comes to watch me on set, he think it's his set. He's always telling a production assistant, 'Can you get me five donuts?'" -- Zoey Deutch

Friday, May 25, 2018

Is Your Company's Core Competency Transferable Overseas?

Jim Altman, Middle Market Pennsylvania Regional Executive, Huntington Bank says, “To be successful in a foreign market, a company needs to gauge the viability of its product in that market, both in terms of its value proposition and price point, as well as understand the local competitive and regulatory landscapes."

He goes on to say, "“That requires assessing whether or not the competencies that made the company good domestically are transferable overseas.”

In an interview, Altman addresses 4 questions:
  1. How can companies determine whether they’re ready for the global stage?
  2. What commonly gets companies in trouble when they venture beyond the U.S. borders?
  3. How can a banking partner facilitate a company’s growth in the global market?
  4. What signals that a banking partner can support a company’s international efforts?
Read more about how to successfully set yourself up to go global.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Global One-Stop Solution for SMEs

Known through inner circles as the "Square of Europe," iZettle (Sweden), a small-business tools and payments provider, has been acquired by PayPal for $2.2 billion.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said: "iZettle and PayPal are a strategic fit, with a shared mission, values and culture -- and complementary product offerings and geographies. With nearly half a million merchants on their platform, Jacob de Geer and his team [at iZettle] add best-in-class capabilities and talent that will expand PayPal's market opportunity to be a global one-stop solution for omni-channel commerce."

I've always been a big fan of PayPal yet I also love Square.  Don't underestimate Square (USA) -- they've rolled out a ton of new offerings that are super cool for SMEs.  Pay them a visit to find out more.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why You Should Bet on Women-Led Companies Locally or Globally

There are a ton of super-smart women entrepreneurs round the globe.  Jonathan Sposato, author of "Better Together" and chairman of GeekWire and PicMonkey, discusses (in a video interview) why he is investing in companies run by women.

Why You Should Bet on Women-Led Companies Locally or Globally

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Consumers Who Shop Internationally Spend More Than Those Who Shop Locally

Quiz of the day.  Name the top markets for e-commerce?  Who are the next big players?  Think you know?  I thought I did too until I interviewed Melissa O'Malley, PayPal’s Director, Global Initiatives and Communications.

Read the entire interview here.

Meanwhile, Melissa O'Malley says:
Our research finds that consumers who shop internationally spend nearly twice as much as those who shop only domestically–clearly, cross-border sales can be a vital source of incremental revenue for merchants. 
And related to cross-border sales, every so often I send out an Exporting Guide newsletter.  My goal is for you to love learning about how to export.  Are you on the list?  Sign up on the right sidebar where it says Subscribe.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Four Women Are Solving Real-World Problems

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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Best Wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

©iStock/Sunlight Photography
May the years ahead be filled with lasting joy, love and happiness as you begin your new life together.

Friday, May 18, 2018

PayPal Extends Its Global Reach by Buying iZettle

Holy cow!  PayPal has reached a deal to buy iZettle, Europe’s answer to the mobile payments company Square, for about $2.2 billion.

PayPal’s chief executive, Dan Schulman, says, "Small businesses are the engine of the global economy and we are continuing to expand our platform to help them compete and win online, in-store and via mobile."

The deal is considered the company’s biggest takeover — and would underscore the arms race in the world of payments, especially as digital and mobile transactions are increasingly being adopted across the world.

Read more about PayPal agreeing to the $2.2 billion deal for European payments start-up iZettle.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Produce Pioneers: Importing and Distributing Avocados

Galen Newhouse and Randy Shoup started West Pak Avocado at a time when avocados where almost unheard of.
From selling fruit to local distributors from their small pack-house in California, the pair have grown the company into what it is today - a multinational distributor with five distribution centers delivering fruit from California, Mexico and South America to customers in North America, Asia and the Middle East. 
Newhouse added that they were successful in the end and credits integrity, honesty and reliability with that success. "We won them over because we always delivered and did what we promised. We always did what we said we were going to do so, and overall we overcame the issue."

Learn more about the West Zak Avocado success journey -- from small avocado company to global business.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A New Era of Global Trade

Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, talks about the future of trade, especially in Portland, Oregon—which she thinks is a fitting venue for her speech on global trade.
Why? Because global trade has a lot in common with the famous bridges across the Willamette River. Some are old, and some are new. Some are in good shape, while others are creaking. Some are non-descript, while others are exceedingly beautiful.
As Christine goes on to say, "Despite their differences, all these bridges are getting the job done—connecting communities and businesses, and encouraging the flow of products, capital, and ideas. This is, in many ways, the story of global trade."

Read more about Christine Lagarde's speech on creating a better global trade system.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Nordic Museum: A Celebration of Arts, Culture and Innovation

The new Nordic Museum, costing about $50 million to build, is based in Seattle and celebrates the city’s many immigrants from Scandinavia and nearby countries.  It includes a soaring Fjord Hall with 20-foot-high glass-walled walkways. The walkways are intended to suggest the immigrant experience.

The museum location, the neighborhood of Ballard, is considered the home to a large Nordic population.

Learn more about the Nordic Museum here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: From a Small Business to a Global Brand

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Following one simple plan  -- find out what it is -- grew a tiny Hong Kong shop from a small business into a global brand.
  • Three winners of the Google video competition -- in partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Organization.
  • Consumers can now buy high-end products from airport duty-free shops, department store counters and e-commerce channels; learn which category is ruling the roost.
  • Believe it or not, everyone can compete on the global playing field.
  • The day after Mother's Day:  lessons from Mom from entrepreneurial leaders.
  • Just land a new customer overseas?  Losing sleep over how to get paid?  Attend the next educational WEGGinar™, Wednesday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time, "Grow Globally by Offering Competitive Financing Solutions" and presented by Tamara Maxwell, Director, Minority and Women Owned Business & Multiplier Outreach Division, Office of Small Business, Export-Import Bank of the United States.  Tamara will make sure you don't lose a customer as a result of not knowing how to finance the deal. The WEGGinar™ is free of charge, thanks to the generous support of global sponsors: UPS, IBM and Bank of America – go here to register:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hello World! Hello Spring!

Spring brings new life into the world around us.

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Establish Sales in Other Countries

Outside the high-tech realm, pundits say automotive suppliers need to broaden their geographic reach by establishing sales and satellite operations in other countries.  You have to think big.
“This is the way of the future. You have to have a global footprint or representation of some type in other countries,” said Azzopardi [Jonathon Azzopardi, president and CEO of Laval Intl., a mould manufacturer in Tecumseh, Ont.].
Read more about the automotive outlook -- local and global.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

E-Commerce Supremacy Goes Global

The world's largest retailer, Walmart, will acquire a 77% holding in Flipkart Group for $16 billion.
The deal — Walmart's biggest ever — gives it greater access to India's e-commerce market, which Morgan Stanley has estimated will grow to $200 billion in about a decade.
For Walmart, this move enables it to tap into India's retail market without building stores.

Learn more about how Walmart just bought its way into India's e-commerce treasure trove.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Smaller Countries Need to Think Internationally From an Early Stage

A founder in Sweden or Ireland knows from day one that their business needs to be international, if it is ever going to get really big.  Whereas a founder operating in the United States, India or China, for example, can focus 100 percent on their home market and still build a billion dollar business.

Smaller countries need to think international from an early stage.

According to an article published at Venture Beat:
Startups from countries with a population of less than 50 million go international twice as fast as startups from countries with a population of more than 50 million: 1.4 years as opposed to 2.8 years.
Read more about when your startup should expand internationally.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: How Smaller Enterprises Can Take Advantage of International Markets

Photo courtesy:  Apress
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Architecture Should Excite you

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I don't think that architecture is only about shelter, is only about a very simple enclosure.  It should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think." -- Zaha Hadid

Friday, May 04, 2018

Showing the Way Ahead: Cloud Based B2B Startups

According to Samir Kumar, Managing Director of Inventus Capital Partners, when it comes to building a truly global business, it is perhaps cloud based business-to-business startups that are showing the way ahead.
Companies such as Unbxed, Tricog and Insta Health building robust businesses almost entirely targeting global markets. From a time when fledgeling companies had to spend precious resources on feet-on-the-street salespeople, today the internet has drastically decreased most such expenses. 
"Entrepreneurs need to remember that for a strange company from India to unseat incumbent rivals, they need to show up with something more than just lower pricing," says Kumar.

Read more about what is most challenging for global-minded startups.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

U.S. E-commerce Logistics Costs Are Expected to Rise through 2020

According to a report entitled “E-Commerce Logistics in the United States,” e-commerce logistics costs in the U.S. now accounts for 6.9% of total U.S. logistics costs, which is ahead of 2016’s 5.2% tally.  Making these figures even more significant is that based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, when it first tracked e-commerce sales in 1999, e-commerce represented a mere 0.6% of total retail sales.

The report also indicates that over the last five years, e-commerce logistics costs have a compound annual growth rate of around 15%, with the expectation that it will remain at the level or head further up.

It estimates that U.S. e-commerce logistics costs are expected to increase at an 18.8% rate per year through 2020.

Learn more about U.S. e-commerce logistics costs and what is expected in the future.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Mastering the New World of Work

According to Gianpiero Petriglieri, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, few of us these days expect our organizations to guarantee a job for life. In that sense, we are all independent workers.
In fact, mobility often defines talent in this world: The people who feel safest are those who know they can leave, and the people organizations are often most desperate to keep are those with ample options elsewhere.
What does this mean?  We must master the new world of work. And to do as such, Petriglieri says you must "fashion a masterful self, able to endure adversity, experience freedom and be of service to others."

Learn more about how to take charge of your career here.