Enterprising Women Winter 2023-24

GLOBAL VIEW by Laurel Delaney Throw out your local playbook and export – here’s why Unleash your full business potential According to the Centre for Economic Policy Research, only 51 percent of women-led businesses are importing or exporting, in comparison to 79 percent of male-led businesses. The Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President reports only 12 percent of the estimated 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S export. Further, the White House Council on Women and Girls say that women-owned firms that export not only earn more, but also employ more people and are, on average, more productive than womenowned firms that do not. So why aren’t more women exporting? I’ve got some answers and will also share some trends to watch over the coming months. For more than 35 years, I have operated a successful global business. It evolved from producing contractmanufacturing food products for export, to importing products for sale to major retail chains, to helping US-based companies export their products worldwide. To share my hard-earned experience with others, I started a blog in 2008 called Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global® (wegg®). After a couple of years, I developed a sizeable following. As more followers sought information that couldn’t be met with a blog alone, I went a step further and in 2015 converted wegg into a full-fledged nonprofit organization. Today, wegg educates women entrepreneurs and business owners on how to grow their businesses globally. Through the efforts of our exceptional team, wegg has served more than 40,000 women business owners, hosted 200+ programs and now receives more than 50,000 visitors to its website, blog, and programs annually. Why does wegg work? First, wegg encourages women business owners to have global aspirations. Some women don’t even know they have the ability to expand internationally until they connect with us. We turn women on to global thinking and educate them on what it takes to expand beyond borders. Second, we don’t just educate women business owners on what it takes to scale a business globally. We also connect them with one another– essentially giving women business owners the tools, skills, confidence, inspiration, and a peer community to run a healthier business and create a new future for herself, her family, and her community. How does wegg operate? Wegg provides its distinctive education through a myriad of consistent programs: wegginars, weggchats, How She Went Global® podcast, on-the-ground workshops, wegg Virtual Cafes, VIP programs, and cohorts. Once a woman business owner discovers wegg’s programs and how lifechanging going global can be, she’s all in. It’s like an awakening. The world can now become her market. Why export? Whether you run a startup or a business operating for a decade or more, it is never a bad time to go global. It opens up vast possibilities for expansion, profitability, and progress. By expanding internationally, businesses have the potential to increase revenue, create more jobs, outmaneuver competitors, spur innovation, develop diversification strategies, and generate economies of scale in production. Interestingly enough, the latest available U.S. Census Report, 2017-2018, indicates most women-owned exporting firms have fewer than 10 employees. Once Aun Photographer / Shutterstock.com 80 enterprising Women