Thursday, September 24, 2020

Exploring the Open Road Safely and Easily

American Automobile Association (AAA) recently added a new map to their TripTik tool quiver (, with all of the Covid-related data a traveler could need.  It includes:

  • Features to show roadway checkpoints
  • Border closings with Canada and Mexico
  • Travel restrictions at the city, county or state level
  • Confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the state/province and/or county level

The underlying data is updated every weekday by AAA's GIS (geographic information system) team, so travelers can count on having the freshest information at their disposal.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Serendipity Is a Skill

In his new book, The Serendipity Mindset, Christian Busch, director of the global economy program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, makes the case that serendipity is the result of a sensibility that allows people to spot and act on unexpected, fortuitous connections when others would dismiss them.

And he suggests that it’s possible for people to cultivate this mindset and use unpredictability to their advantage. Busch talked to strategy+business about the serendipity mindset, which he says is key for companies in a time of pressing global challenges.

Read the full interview here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

SBA: National Small Business Week 2020 (Event Is Free of Charge)

Here's the Agenda for the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week that starts today, September 22nd (at 12:30PM ET) and runs until the 24th offering educational presentations and panel discussions that help both new and existing businesses to recover, adapt, and innovate in this challenging time.

Best of all: the event is free of charge.  Register here.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: How RBG Made Girls Equal to Boys

©iStock/Tim Brown
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Horse Is An Adulthood Treasure

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"A pony is a childhood dream. A horse is an adulthood treasure." – Rebecca Carroll

Friday, September 18, 2020

How Small Businesses Are Adjusting to COVID-19

How are America’s small businesses navigating the economic disruptions resulting from COVID-19, and how will the CARES Act affect their decisions and future prospects?

To explore these questions, we [the National Bureau of Economic Research] conducted a survey of more than 5,800 small businesses that were members of the Alignable business network. The survey focused on assessing (1) the current level of financial fragility among small businesses, (2) the extent to which small businesses have already temporarily closed and laid off employees, (3) expectations about how long the crisis will last - and how this is affecting business decisions, and (4) decisions about whether to seek funding through the CARES Act, and how this will impact layoff and closure decisions.

Discover the survey results and themes that emerge.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Entrepreneurship is An Integral Component of African Economies

©iStock/Andi Edwards
Entrepreneurship is an integral component of African economies – it is not surprising that the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report for 2014, ranked Uganda as the World’s top entrepreneurial country.

With a high market value and uses in cooking and cosmetics, Shea butter has become known as Burkina's gold. By training groups of entrepreneurs in the best processing methods and how best to sell their end product, TREE AID is turning an everyday tree product into meals, medicines and schooling.

Most business entities in Uganda are small-scale ventures and operate extensively in the informal sector – young entrepreneurs have low growth expectations as not many of them innovate or develop new products.

Learn more about the challenges and prospects of SMEs and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Are the World Bank Doing Business Rankings Accurate?

The World Bank's Doing Business rankings had a goal of evaluating countries’ openness to the private sector.  Right now, they are in a little hot water.  Seven years ago the bank rejected an independent panel’s recommendation to do away with the ranking system due to what appeared to be data manipulation [irregularities].

Now they have paused the publication of its next Doing Business report, originally planned for October, while it conducts “a systematic review and assessment of data changes” in the last five reports, as well as an audit of the data collection process and data integrity controls.

Sounds like they have some explaining to do ... we've always called their work Ease of Doing Business Rankings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Georgia: The Epic Center of Global Trade in the Southeast, USA

The new Export Georgia, USA Directory hosted by Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade division  provides Georgia businesses with the global connections they need to reach new markets and diversify their international customer base. The site ( currently features more than 60 Georgia businesses.  The new marketing tool has been created to provide virtual connections between international buyers and Georgia suppliers.
“Georgia has quickly become the epicenter of global trade in the Southeast,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “As we continue to celebrate a record-setting year for trade in 2019 – our trade team is focusing on the future. Not only will this tool help Georgia businesses find new buyers in international markets, but it will also help businesses get back on their feet as they seek out new opportunities to succeed.”
Read more about how Georgia helps companies connect to international buyers.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Fascinating Cultural Differences Around the World

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

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Being Real Awesome

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Being a unicorn isn't about being real.  It's about being real awesome." – Unknown.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Business As Unusual During the Global Pandemic

©iStock/Tera Vector
As entrepreneurs deal with industry shutdowns, quarantines and fewer customers, “business as usual” takes on an entirely new meaning during the global pandemic.
Being a small business owner can often feel lonely, carrying the weight of the world, clients and employees on their shoulders. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC) want one message to ring clear for businesses figuring out a pivot plan: you are not alone.
Learn more how a pivot plan is critical for Alaska small business survival.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

How Does a Company Grow 700% During the Global Pandemic?

As the article below states, it’s rare for a start-up to glide silently under the media’s radar. “We never decided not to go to the media, we just never decided we would, and now seems like the right time to tell our story, before someone else writes about our financial technology start-up, Melio Payments, without asking us," says Melio CEO Matan Bar.

Just so you know:  Melio is Venmo for mom-and-pop stores. The Israeli startup thinks its tech can save America's small businesses.

See what you think.  Pretty impressive.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Where are the World's Tallest Buildings?

It seems that humanity is always vying to exceed our past accomplishments, and nowhere is the evidence clearer than in the tallest buildings that make up our cities.  Take a look at the tallest buildings on every continent.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Are the COVID-19 Pandemic and Digitalization of Export Promo Services Here to Stay?

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Are the COVID-19 pandemic and digitalization of export promotion services here to stay?
  • Why study abroad?
  • Quote of the week: "A lot of people, including business leaders, think the future belongs to China. Globalization is not a zero-sum game, but we need to hone our skills to stay in play." – Jon Meacham
  • New book:  Saving Face by Maya Hu-Chan on how to preserve dignity and build trust.
  • China's exports are surging despite tariffs and the coronavirus.
  • Coronavirus tests future of Japan's yellowtail exports.
  • Happy Labor Day to all American workers.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Cherish Each Day and Cherish Your Visions

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." – Napoleon Hill

Friday, September 04, 2020

American Express Global Small Business Owners: Pay Over Time

American Express, one of the last remaining issuers of charge cards, recently announced that many of their small business credit cards would now be automatically enrolled in their ‘Pay Over Time’ feature at the start of the November billing cycle.  Pay Over Time allows a cardholder to revolve their balance like a traditional credit card.
With a charge card, the balance is typically due in full at the end of each billing cycle. Amex’s Pay Over Time feature enables a cardholder to carry a balance on eligible purchases of $100 or more and pay interest on that portion of their balance they revolve from one month to the next. In other words, it allows an American Express business charge card to act just like a traditional credit card.  Prior to November, cardholders would have to request that Pay Over Time be applied to specific purchases.
Learn more about how American Express business cards default over to time plans.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Navigating Business Disruption During COVID-19

 COVID-19 has shown us that it is the interconnectedness among companies tied to a just-in-time supply chain that is designed to meet immediate consumption needs.
Covid-19 has caused a massive disruption to business operations up and down the supply chain, including to the operations of growers, producers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors, as companies struggle to generate revenue amid government shutdowns, closed schools, and abrupt changes to consumption patterns.
There are two critical factors necessary to ensure that a company’s business disruption does not trigger a legal process that impairs recoveries for creditors and undermines a distressed company’s ability to reorganize.

Read more about how to navigate business disruption in uncertain times.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Are You Zone Skipping?

There are many challenges and obstacles that can derail global operations.

"Leading cross-continental teams is a bit of a balancing act," says Deepak Agarwal, founder of several global businesses. "There is so much to educate yourself on as you enter a global marketplace. You have to think beyond your home office. Localizing, or understanding the way business is conducted in the areas where your business is present, can have a tremendous positive impact on your strategy for going global."

Agarwal provides five (5) pointers concerning:
  1. Language
  2. Payment method
  3. Price point and currency
  4. Shipping (which brings up zone skipping)
  5. Cultural nuances
Learn more here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Thinking of Abandoning Globalization? Reconsider.

The coronavirus pandemic exposed the vulnerability of our global supply chains, interrupting the flow of critical imports into the U.S., and triggering calls for American multinationals to reshore production.
Coming on the heels of the trade war and Washington’s push to de-couple economically from China, this has brought widespread predictions of deglobalization. The U.S. Special Trade Representative even wrote a recent op-ed calling for the end of offshoring.
Ultimately, we will see changes in the way the global economy works.  According to Thomas Hout for HBR, "the fundamentals of our globalized economy — and China’s role within it — will not change."  Here are the four reasons why in his article: Abandoning Globalization Will Only Hurt U.S. Businesses.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Constant Evolution is the Only Way Forward

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • It’s no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year for the food and beverage industry as a whole.  See how one fine dining restaurant is taking global to a whole new level by declaring constant evolution is the only way forward.
  • Exporting Japanese culture abroad in the guise of a TV drama.
  • Quote of the week: "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." – Walt Disney
  • What you can do as a global small business to thrive right now.
  • Want to rank higher in Google?  Learn SEO strategies from an expert (gee, there is a cost involved and it's offered from Entrepreneur Magazine during the hard times of COVID-19).
  • will now start offering payments.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Eureka Moments: Swinging in a Hammock

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Your best ideas, those eureka moments that turn the world upside down, seldom come when you're juggling emails, rushing to meet the 5 P.M. deadline or straining to make your voice heard in a high-stress meeting. They come when you're walking the dog, soaking in the bath or swinging in a hammock." – Carl Honore

Friday, August 28, 2020

Are U.S. Publishers Prepared for European Legislature?

Europe’s data protection laws are still murky, differently interpreted and fully understood by very few people. But wonky data laws are just one of many hurdles for U.S. publishers to scale in order to conquer international expansion — and those hurdles are stacking up.
Publishers say they remain enthusiastic about international expansion: HuffPost has 12 global editions and 60% of readers come from outside of the U.S. Bustle Digital Group, launched in the U.K. 2018, made several hires this year and has grown to 4 million unique monthly users with positive ad revenue momentum, the publisher said. Vox Media is hiring for its second international operation The Strategist UK, bringing the total to six staffers on international.
The U.K. seems a natural step into global expansion because there’s no language barrier yet there are some challenges worth noting.

Read more about why U.S. digital-media publishers are curbing international expansion.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

World Entrepreneurship: Keep Your Eye on Young Entrepreneurs in 2020

The year 2020 has been an emerging year for the world of entrepreneurship, specifically amongst teenagers. From being quarantined due to COVID-19 and away from their peers, there has been a growing number of teenagers starting businesses this year. Here are the top 10 young entrepreneurs to keep an eye on in 2020.

Read more about ten young and emerging entrepreneurs you should become familiar with in 2020.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Let's Have Some Fun! wegg® and Whiskey Tasting 9/2/20

©2020 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  All right reserved.
Who wouldn't like to have some fun during these trying global pandemic days?  Who wouldn't like to connect with new people to make valuable connections?  Who wouldn't like to learn something new?  Who wouldn't like to meet directly with Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart (and ask her questions), President and co-founder of KOVAL Distillery?

Now is your chance.  Join the wegg® team on September 2nd (5:30-7:30PM CT) with their annual FUNraiser (will set you forward only US $20) for a virtual experience that will alter your state of mind on the magic of whiskey.

To learn more and to register, visit:  #weggwhiskeytasting – I'll [Laurel Delaney] be there.  Hope you can make it!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: The Happiness Edition

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

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Follow Your Heart

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." – Steve Jobs

Friday, August 21, 2020

Localization Testing Questions to Address When Launching a Product in a Different Market

As the author of the article below states, "A software application will not succeed globally if it’s written for a U.S. audience only. Users want an application that adapts to their understanding and expectations."
Localization testing verifies that an application functions as expected when it’s used in multiple locales with varying languages, formatting preferences and cultural expectations.
How do you actually create a strategy for localization testing to confirm that international audiences will respond well to your products?  What are the questions to address?

Read more about how to build a strategy for localization testing.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

How to Attract International Clients to Your Global Small Business

Have you taken your company as far as it can go revenue and profit wise? If so, you should consider expanding your business overseas.

Taking your organization to the next level will allow you to tap into a much larger and far more diverse consumer market; it will help you to enhance your reputation; and, it will increase your foreign investment opportunities.

If you want your overseas venture to become successful, you'll need to find a way to attract international clients.

Find out how you can achieve this all-important feat – attracting international clients to your business – by reading on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How to See Past Tomorrow for a Long-Term Strategy

As Jennifer Riel writes for the global design company Ideo:
The unprecedented disruption created by this crisis should be seen first and foremost in humanitarian terms, connecting to the very real personal toll of this disease—serious illness and lives lost, isolation and fear, worsening unemployment and economic precarity.
How do you see past tomorrow for a long-term strategy?

Find out more here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: 5 Things to Know about the USMCA

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

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Wear a Crown of Flowers on Your Head

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Wear a crown of flowers on your head, let its roots reach your heart." – Kabir

Friday, August 14, 2020

Female Entrepreneurship Is on the Rise Globally

The World Bank's research shows that female entrepreneurs tend to encounter a unique set of challenges in starting and running their businesses globally.
  1. Juggling competing priorities.
  2. Skills gaps.
  3. Legal constraints.
  4. Financial and digital inclusion.
What are the things that male and female mature businesses, business leaders, academics and society at large can do to help?

Find out here how to uplift female entrepreneurs.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The History of International Trade in Three Distinct 'Globalizations'

I [Laurel Delaney] wrote about Marc Levinson's book, The Box, in Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.  It was a fascinating book delving deep into who invented the containerized cargo and how it made our world bigger.

Twelve years later, Levinson has come out with a companion volume, Outside the Box.
Ostensibly a history of international trade through three distinct “globalizations,” Outside the Box is most useful as a chronicle of how the pre-2008 model of complex, globe-spanning, just-in-time manufacturing has been exposed as fragile, inefficient, and opaque.
Learn more about journalist and historian Marc Levinson's new book, describing the limits of long supply chains and the ways in which new trade routes are forming.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Today, Join Us For a wegginar® on The Power of Relationships in a Global Economy

©2020 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
A wegginar® for anyone who has ever wondered or worried about relationship building.  How do you do it?  Why do you do it?  Who do you do it with?  And what are the benefits?  Lynda Dorman, CEO and Carolyn Howell, President and co-owners of Orange Wall Enterprises will discuss:
  • Why every business needs to worry about relationship building.
  • Understanding how your strengths could be your greatest weakness.
  • Why you should build your business with a 'glocal' mindset.
There's still time (and space) to register!  Listen LIVE today (8/12/20) at 11AM CT.  To learn more and to register, visit:

This educational program is offered free of charge by Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global® largely thanks to their generous sponsors who support women business owners interested in going global:  Greensfelder, GlobalCare Clinical Trials, APCO Worldwide, Associated Bank, Union Pacific and FedEx.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

How the Global Crisis Will Affect the African Entrepreneurship Sector

©iStock/Lyndon Stratford
The entrepreneurship field is characterized by its ability to turn every crisis into an opportunity. With the help of the local governments and smart investments, entrepreneurs can use the COVID-19 situation to advance the field to new heights, affecting hundreds of millions of people. In order for that opportunity to arise, one major player that must take the lead:  VCs and investment funds.

Read more about how the African entrepreneurship sector was severely hit by the coronavirus yet it is still very early to assess how the global crisis will affect the sector.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Global Supply Chains Get Resilient

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

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Someone Planted a Tree a Long Time Ago

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." – Warren Buffett

Friday, August 07, 2020

Women as Builders of the Digital Economy

2020 is a pivotal year for global stakeholders who want to advance and accelerate women’s economic empowerment.  Find out why through UNCDF's strategy, Women as Builders of the Digital Economy, (access and download report) which focuses on creating strategic partnerships at a global, regional and country level, and complementing them with market facilitation and deep technical assistance to affect change on the ground.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Clarifies What Info Is Needed on Shipments Valued at Less Than $800

U.S. Customs officials plan to issue a ruling this week intended to give border agents more transparency about the origin of imports destined for U.S. warehouses, improving their ability to police shipments for counterfeits and other illegal goods.
With the ruling, Customs and Border Protection aims to clarify what information some shippers must include about shipments valued at less than $800 that are heading to U.S. fulfillment centers and warehouses. Congress set that monetary threshold in 2016 as the amount at which goods can pass into the U.S. tax-free and with minimal documentation.
That law, which eased the flow of global e-commerce for retailers and consumers, also limited the amount of information shippers provided to Customs agents monitoring incoming goods for trademark violations, consumer-safety violations and other illegal behavior.

Note:  The ruling will require some shippers in the U.S. who want to import shipments under the $800 threshold to provide information about the foreign seller before the goods can enter the U.S. and continue to a warehouse to await a U.S. buyer.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

How Women Benefit from Global Trade

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank have launched a joint, 189-page publication titled, ‘Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality,’ on how women benefit from trade and the role of trade in advancing gender equality.

The publication shares how trade can expand women’s role in the economy, which can be linked to higher levels of gender equality, increased wages, improved working conditions, and improved women’s access to education and skills.

The report uses labor data disaggregated by gender at the industry level for 72 countries as well as a database on gender-related provisions in regional trade agreements.

Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization works with women entrepreneurs and business owners in helping them expand their businesses internationally and has known all along that women benefit from trade by earning more, paying more, employing more people and being more productive than firms that operate domestically.

wegg's mission is:  to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.   wegg's vision is:  a world where every woman business owner has the opportunity and ability to take their business global wherever they may be located.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Performances From Across the World: Listen to Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts by NPR

©iStock/Adil Chelebiyev
Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Settle in.  Kick back.  Relax.  Listen.  Enjoy.  Here's John Legend with his four-song performance.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: How to Rebound From a Crisis

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • The Global Small Business Survival Guide.
  • U.S. small business bailout money flowed to Chinese-owned companies.  
  • Quote of the week:  "We all knew this. We all knew that it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole created by this economic crisis. Barack Obama
  • Yes – Apple to release the cheapest ever MacBook Air!
  • Global small businesses are fighting for their lives.
  • How your company can rebound from a crisis.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Little Free Library: Chicago

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Check out the world's largest book-sharing movement:  Little Free Library.  We love this concept!  Join in building a community, sparking creativity, and inspiring readers.  Start here.

Friday, July 31, 2020

It's Getting Ugly For Global Small Businesses

As the first wave of US aid runs short – and landlords and lenders lose patience – lawmakers are in tense negotiations over a new round of stimulus, which could include more money for global small businesses.
Most firms have already run out of the money they secured from the $600 billion Paycheck Protection Program, according to a survey released this week from the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading trade group for small US firms.
Learn more how US small businesses, especially those in the hospitality, food and retail space, face mass closures without more pandemic aid.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Can Big Global Companies Conduct Themselves in a Neutral Way?

Heads of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google testify on big tech's power in the online global economy.  Can big global companies, when the pressure is on, conduct themselves in a totally neutral way?

Read more.  See what you think.  I wonder... are they squashing competition, especially the little guys, in favor of their own service?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Who Was the Aid (PPP) Intended For?

©iStock/Drazen Zigic
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was billed by the U.S. Treasury Department as a way for small businesses with generally fewer than 500 employees to cover overhead, retain employees, and rehire those who had been laid off as a result of the pandemic.
But data released earlier this month by the U.S. Small Business Administration shows large PPP loans were received by District-based companies that have global business interests, pay some of their employees six-figure salaries, and, in certain cases, appear to have other means of raising money. (Precise loan amounts weren’t specified in the data; the SBA reported loan ranges up to $10 million.)
Explore more about how big D.C. companies scooped up pandemic aid intended for small businesses.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Let's Fix This Because the Pandemic Hurts Working Mothers

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • The New York Times asked students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, what it’s like to learn from home. Here’s what they had to say, in their own words — and drawings.
  • Women’s careers could take long-term hit from coronavirus pandemic.  
  • Quote of the week:  "It's more pressure on women to - if they marry or partner with someone, to partner with the right person. Because you cannot have a full career and a full life at home with your children if you are also doing all of the housework and child care. – Sheryl Sandberg
  • Even before pandemic, working parents struggled to achieve the 'Dreams Of The Overworked'.
  • The pandemic is hurting Canada's working mothers.
  • Guilt-ridden and exhausted, parents are wary of another home-front battle.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Cultivate the Garden for the Nose

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves." – Robert Louis Stevenson