Friday, January 31, 2020

Ireland's IGNITE: Transformative and Life-Changing

The IGNITE program at University College Cork (UCC), which nurtures start-ups from ideas to commercial reality, has been hailed by some of Ireland’s best up-and-coming entrepreneurs as “transformative and life-changing” ahead of its next tranche of graduates to begin the program.
Founded in 2011 and supported by Bank of Ireland, IGNITE is a joint initiative by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices in and UCC to encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise creation.
The firm now monitors more than 20 million beehives in Europe, North America and South Africa.

Learn more about how entrepreneurs of IGNITE are catching eyes of global investors.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Plans Fit For Adventurous Kids: The Nike Sneaker Club

©iStock/Daniel Chetroni
Select your plan.  Pick your shoes.  Get the kit.  Begin the adventure.  Nike's Sneaker Club lets parents order children's shoes on a quarterly, bimonthly or monthly basis.  Plans run from $20-50 a month based on how often you order and how many shoes you want.

Nike Sneaker Club's mission:
We believe that kids aren't made to sit still, they're made to adventure! Today's kids are part of the least active generation in history, and all of that sitting around doesn't sit well with us. Kids who move are the ones who move the needle—in their classrooms, careers, and communities.
Learn more about the sneaker club for adventurous kids.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

We Lost a Great Groundbreaker: Clayton Christensen

The guru of 'disruptive innovation' – Clayton Christensen – died at 67 on January 23, 2020.  We lost another great groundbreaker.  We were a huge fan of Professor Christensen, read all his books, and found him super intelligent, credible and practical.  Here's one of his insightful comments as he approached his own death:
“I know I’ve had substantial impact,” he wrote. “But as I’ve confronted this disease [complications of leukemia], it’s been interesting to see how unimportant that impact is on me now. I’ve concluded that the metric by which God will assess my life isn’t dollars but the individual people whose lives I’ve touched.
“Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved,” he continued; “worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”  
We will miss Professor Christensen.  He will leave a legacy of hope, love and giving to others.  May he RIP.  Read The New York Times obituary.

Added 1/29/20 – worth a long read.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Globalization is a Fact

©iStock/VTT Studio
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) launched the Indiana State Trade and Export Promotion (IN-STEP) program to develop and expand export opportunities throughout the state, assisting Indiana small businesses with identifying, marketing and selling Hoosier-made goods in international markets. 
  • According to a Small Business Trends article, small businesses are less likely to expand sales across borders (ouch ... must not be focusing on e-commerce).
  • Quote of the week: Globalization is a fact, because of technology, because of an integrated global supply chain, because of changes in transportation.  And we're not going to be able to build a wall around that." – Barack Obama
  • US is No.1 country for UK small businesses to trade with over next three years.
  • How to mitigate external risks when running a small business.
  • E-commerce trends to watch in 2020.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Stop at That Stop Sign?

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“If they think I'm going to stop at that stop sign, they're sadly mistaken!” – Dan Castellaneta

Friday, January 24, 2020

Prince Charles to Take on More Prominent Global Role

After Queen Elizabeth’s decision last year to step down from royal duties, Prince Charles becomes heir to take over leadership of the royal family in eighteen months time.
This made Charles’ speech at The World Economic Forum on Tuesday [1/21/20], (his first prominent engagement in 2020), a significant moment; and one where he showcased his intention to take on a more prominent global role. 
The prince’s emphasis at Davos this year, as many others, was on the need to establish new global processes to tackle climate change. While Charles has been a passionate environmentalist for years, (he made his first official speech on environmental issues in 1968), in his Davos speech, he explained that it is the responsibility of the business world to flick the switch permanently towards sustainable practices.

The Prince goes on to say about climate change, “We simply cannot waste any more time — the only limit is our willingness to act, and the time to act is now."

Thursday, January 23, 2020

USA Fruit Exports Expected to Increase

The chances for USA fruit exports to Japan are expected to increase due to the decline in domestic cultivation in Japan due to the aging of fruit growers.
Japan imports a third of its fruit, with the United States taking second place among exporters. The United States is the main supplier of oranges, lemons, grapes and cherries. 
Read more about the greater opportunities for fruit imports to Japan due to aging of local growers.

Visit the USDA Exporter Guide to Japan

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Insurance Disruptor Lemonade

Look out Geico, State Farm and American Family.  We've got a disruptor on our hands.  Meet Lemonade, which claims for you to forget everything you know about insurance.  Instant everything?  Killer prices?  Big Heart?  They've got this covered and more.

Read more about Lemonade.  Nifty little blog too.  They are moving it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Take Your Business Global in the Digital Age (SCORE webinar 1/23/20 with Laurel Delaney)

Register (free of charge) for the SCORE LIVE webinar 1/23/20 How to Take Your Business Global in the Digital Age where Laurel J. Delaney, in a fun and energizing way, will help you create a road-map and an export experience that will take your business global in the digital age and bring you a ton of success. Follow SCORE @SCOREMentors (Twitter).

To learn more and to register, visit:

Monday, January 20, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: World's Biggest Food Company Now Makes Vegan Sausages

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. – the importance of keeping his legacy alive.
  • Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will stop using their primary royal titles, give up state funding and repay at least $3 million in taxpayer money used to refurbish their official residence at Windsor Castle under an agreement announced by Buckingham Palace.  How does that impact you and your business?  Your guess is as good as ours.
  • What U.S. farmers make of Trump's trade deal.
  • Quote of the week: Working with a lot of people at the same time is a task. I really like making stuff and getting stuff done. One of the things I really liked about Facebook was that I could always move so quickly. I wrote the original application in, like, nine days at the end of January. – Mark Zuckerberg
  • Forbidden Bike Company gets its global groove with a new global marketing and UK sales appointment to Olly Forster.
  • The Women's March 2020 – a fight against good and evil.
  • World's biggest food company is now making vegan sausages.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Build Your Courage

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Creativity takes courage." – Henri Matisse

Friday, January 17, 2020

Hit the Pause Button: We Have a New Trade Deal

The long-awaited U.S.-China trade deal has arrived.  It's packaged up nicely -- even might have a bow on it.  Sign, sealed, and delivered to us with good tidings from President Trump.  The deal includes some significant changes to the economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies.
Among the biggest questions going in to the negotiations with China was how any agreement would be enforced. Having watched previous agreements with China fail to live up to their promise, many American experts and business executives were skeptical that the Trump administration could get China to keep the commitments it makes.
Take a look at what's in (and not in) the U.S.-China trade deal – brought to you by Peter Eavis, Alan Rappeport and Ana Swanson, the New York Times.

I still say this will be the year of "play it safe" for global small business owners.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Newly Awakening Entrepreneurship Drive Among Young Chinese Students

Yuanyuan Zhou, a professor of computer science at the University of California, San Diego, (UCSD) and a serial entrepreneur herself has witnessed from the front lines how much more entrepreneurial young Chinese students in the United States have become.
When Zhou started her first company in 1999 as a Ph.D. student at Princeton University, she was unusual among her peers. So far, she says, only two of the 20 or so Chinese Ph.D. students at Princeton she got to know while she was a student there have created their own companies. By contrast, Zhou says, seven of the 19 Chinese Ph.D. students who have graduated since she became a professor have done so. Last year, Zhou even offered a seminar in entrepreneurship at UCSD. About half of the 25 students who took the class were Chinese.
Nevertheless, read more about how China is trying to convince more young Chinese entrepreneurs to return to China after studying in the United States. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Registration is OPEN: 5th Annual Global Small Business Forum 4/17/20 held in Chicago

©2020 Global TradeSource, Ltd.  All rights reserved.
Registration is open for our 5th Annual Global Small Business Forum to be held in Chicago Friday, April 17th from 7:30-11:30 AM CT.  The theme this year is “Be a Global Unicorn.”  Hear from 4 CEOs who will share their experience on global business growth, success stories, challenges and lessons learned.  They will also address how impossible expectations and ambitions are driving them to become global unicorns.  To learn more and to register, visit: Please Like our Facebook Page:  We look forward to your participation!

More information


Gold:  Associated Bank
Bronze:  Multilingual Connections
Host:  Foley & Lardner LLP
Support:  From the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago and others.

Panelists: Lori Novak (moderator), VP Foreign Exchange | Capital Markets, Associated Bank; Danny Park, CEO and Co-founder, RoboTHINK LLC; Aisha Ceballos-Crump, CEO and Founder, Honey Baby Naturals; Heather Acerra, co-founder, LUX Blox; and, Rajiv Khatau, Managing Director, LODAAT Pharma.

Other speakers:  Marc Schulman, President, Eli’s Cheesecake, Richard Paullin, Executive Director, International Association of Greater Chicago, and Laurel Delaney, President, and Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.

Time and location:  8:00 – 11:30 a.m., Foley & Lardner LLP, 321 North Clark Street, Suite 3000, Chicago.

Admission:  $20 (students); $40 (general); Admission + Vendor Table - $400. For more information and to register, please see:

Questions?  Contact Laurel Delaney.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Global News Delivered Twice a Day on Weekdays, Daily at Weekends (Podcast)

Global News Podcast | 477,463 subscribers | International News | BBC World Service | UK International News.  The day’s top stories from BBC News. Delivered twice a day on weekdays, daily at weekends.

Tune-in.  Listen.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Facebook's Vision 2030

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Global shipping trends for 2020.
  • The coolest artificial intelligence announcements from CES 2020
  • Quote of the week: “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed.  Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy." – Tony Robbins
  • Unveiling a vision for 2030 – Facebook, and there's no focus on Libra.
  • Next frontier?  Drones.
  • The chief legal officer of Google parent Alphabet Inc., David Drummond, is leaving the company amid an investigation into his relationships with employees of the global search-engine giant.  New job?  Retirement.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Be Ruled By Your Passions

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions." – Elizabeth Taylor

Friday, January 10, 2020

What Is Your Ultimate Business Goal: Local or Global?

Small-to-midsize business owners (SMB) are often faced with contradictory advice on whether to go global or stay local. Article after article explains the benefits of buying local and working with homegrown businesses. Yet SMBs are also encouraged to harness technological advances to realize their global aspirations.

As Frederick Crosby, Chief Revenue Officer of Veem says, "when faced with a decision between staying local or expanding to international markets, small business owners need to consider their ultimate business goals, target market/audience, and ultimately, their bandwidth."

Read more about which is best for your business:  local or global?

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Steve Strauss Looks at Small Business Trends of 2020

©iStock/Konstantin T.
Our good friend and colleague, Steve Strauss, is an attorney, popular speaker and the best-selling author of 17 books, including "The Small Business Bible."  Let's just say he knows a little something about the small business industry.

For USA Today, Steve provides his annual look at the top trends in business for the coming year. Caveat:
But note — this is not a prediction column, because as it turns out, I [Steve Strauss] am about as good at predictions as I am at losing weight. Instead, let’s look at what is trending in business in 2020 with the intent of helping you navigate these choppy waters. 
Have a look.  Meanwhile, you can learn more about Steve at, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed, and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

A Relaunch on Global E-Commerce by Forever 21

In a statement, Forever 21 [privately held fast-fashion retailer] President Alex Ok said that the retailer has seen ongoing demand from customers in regions where it has plans to exit. "Ecommerce forms a large chunk of the profitable core of our operations and as part of our new global strategy, Forever 21 will leverage Global-e's technology to offer international customers an outstanding online experience," he said.

Hence, Forever 21 is relaunching its international online store to target consumers in Canada, Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America, in partnership with cross-border e-commerce platform Global-e.

Background –
The U.S.-based, privately held fast-fashion retailer [Forever 21] filed for bankruptcy in September [2019], saying at the time that it would close as many as 178 U.S. stores along with most of its international stores in Europe and Asia, in order to refocus on its U.S. and Latin American businesses.
Learn more about how Forever 21 is relaunching its international e-commerce.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Laurel Delaney's Global Trade Trends Report 2020 (wegginar®)

©Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  All rights reserved.
In today's fast-changing business world, it has never been more important to stay informed about key trends reshaping the global economy and position yourself to maintain a competitive edge.  And that is what Laurel Delaney will be covering in her upcoming Thought Leadership Series (TLS) wegginar® hosted by Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  Not just what’s hot and what’s not but what you should be giving your undivided attention to.  Are you ready?

JOIN us for Laurel Delaney's Global Trade Trends Report 2020, a free wegginar® thanks to wegg®'s sponsors:  Bank of America, FedEx, Associated Bank, Greensfelder, APCO Worldwide, GlobalCare Clinical Trials and Union Pacific Foundation – all companies that generously support women business owners who grow their businesses through exports.

Laurel will unveil:
  • Facts on the global small business market
  • Growth in the USA economy
  • How small is the new big
This will be a high-energy, information-rich presentation that will have you thinking about how to track what is relevant in global trade and position your global small business for success in 2020.

Participants will learn what's in store for 2020 on the following issues relative to global trade:
  • U.S. China relations
  • Brexit
  • Freight
  • Payment
  • Warehousing
  • Tariffs
  • Privacy
  • Digital trade
  • +More
Laurel Delaney's Global Trade Trends Report 2020 will take place LIVE on Wednesday, January 8th at 11AM CT (12PM ET and 9AM PST).  Register NOW:

Monday, January 06, 2020

Today in Global Small Business: Ways to Fight Global Pollution as a Small Business Owner

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • Five ways your global small business can help battle global pollution.
  • How can your global small business give back to a community and feel good about it
  • Quote of the week: “We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce
  • How competing in the age of AI requires a new strategy.
  • Top 12 business trends for 2020.
  • Share your top nine Instagram favs, after all, life is all about experiences.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Dreams Only Get Better

©2020 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Our dreams never turn out exactly as we wish
They only get better." – Anonymous

Friday, January 03, 2020

Innovation and Technology Are Changing How We Strategize, Lead, and Create

As MITSloan Management Review's readership continues to look to evidence-based practices for leading change across organizations and the globe, the following collection reflects a commitment to effective leadership in a rapidly changing digital economy.

Whether you’re revisiting these articles or discovering them for the first time, these articles – from digital transformation to global talent management to emerging jobs in the era of AI — will offer insights for managers on topics including strategic decisions and execution, meaningful work, and cultural reinvention.

The Best MIT SMR articles of the 2010s.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

2020: Do Less, Know Less, Care Less, Forget Less and Regret Less

Too much to do, too many goals, too many unfinished projects, and too many disappointments from this past year?  Time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders explains her surprising approach to having your most productive year yet.

Saunders says "as you look ahead to 2020, the idea of adding more seems kind of exciting but also a bit daunting. That’s why as a time management coach, I recommend that you do the opposite. Resolve to do less, and experience your best year possible."

So less is more?  Sure sounds like it.  Here are Saunder's five resolutions to make it happen.