Exporting is GREAT
Hello and welcome to issue 53, our celebration of the female entrepreneurs who are literally taking on the world as we approach Exporting is GREAT week.
I first became involved with exporting in a former role in the professional services sector where I discovered a new world of business was there to be done overseas. So if you’re really good at what you do, why not take on the world? How could I resist putting together a feature about the kick ass entrepreneur women who are kicking ass not just at home, but overseas too?
UKTI – helping you to open the door to any global market
For British businesses, the lovely people at UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) are on hand to help you map out a strategy and deliver a plan that will literally take your business places. Though the UK’s network of British embassies all around the world they can pretty much help you open the door to any market.
I remember a year and a half ago when I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel to Dubai. My super helpful UKTI adviser put me in touch with the relevant contacts at the British Embassy who, in turn managed to connect me to some of the most influential women in Dubai, before I’d even left my desk at home. Let me tell you, these people know everyone of influence in their local networks and they don’t mess around. They are people you want to have in your corner.
What’s even better is that they have now put together a database of all their international opportunities. Check it out here. If you produce something or offer it as a service, the chances are it will appear somewhere on that list in one way, shape or form. What’s not to like?
Your local chamber of commerce – connecting you with the world
The other people to connect with are your local chamber of commerce. In this edition we hear from Vickie Fox at the British Chambers of Commerce, the organisation that links the network of accredited local chambers across Great Britain. Your local chamber can connect you to British chambers of commerce all around the world. It’s not just about what you know, it’s also about who you know.
Get online to get in the know
Also on the theme of going global, there is a huge amount of international knowledge to be gleaned by going online, as you might expect. Obviously that part isn’t rocket science, but it’s not just about doing Internet searches. We hear from Holly Stephens at Google about The Digital Garage programme and the way it is helping businesses harness the power of the Internet to expand into new markets. There is free support on offer to help the UK’s SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] to grow by maximising their online presence and skills. You may be surprised to learn that I haven’t always been the Internet guru I am today(!) and even I had to start somewhere. And that somewhere was at a Google Digital Garage event.
If it wasn’t for that event, there might not have been a Womanthology. So who knows, your big idea might free itself from the depths of your imagination if you give it a chance. Womanthology was born global and that’s become part of the reason it has grown in the way that it has.
But don’t just take my word for it. I’ve assembled a group of women who don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to come to them. They get up and go to the opportunities, or else they create their own.
Entrepreneurship is scary, painful, time consuming and sometimes expensive, but on the flip side of that it’s exciting, rewarding, challenging and may even make your fortune. (I’m still waiting for this bit…) So exporting is a bit like extreme entrepreneurship, but what better way to experience the world than by reaching out and doing business with it?
It won’t be easy, but what worthwhile thing have you ever done that was? There is literally a whole world of opportunity out there, so what have you got to lose? Exporting is GREAT. They chose the right name for the campaign. Enough said.