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Unleash your inner global business goddess in three easy steps

March 12, 2021

Tricia Van Orden is Deputy Director of ITA’s Trade Promotion Coordination Committee Secretariat

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In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, the International Trade Administration will spotlight content and resources on our website on women in trade, business, and entrepreneurship throughout the month of March. Learn more about the United Nations observance of this day.

Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live beyond the U.S. borders, and modern technology has made it easier than ever to reach them. Be the global business goddess you’ve always dreamed of by following these three tips:

Female executive holding a coffee mug that says "Like A Boss" on it. Souce: Unspash.com

1. Start with what you know and leverage others’ knowledge.  Whether it’s tapping into big data from online platforms to gain market insights or scheduling a meeting with a business counselor at a local Women’s Business Center, learn how to take advantage of the vast array of resources ready to help you. A plethora of online tools and trade professionals are available to help women-led startups and small businesses find success in international markets. The U.S. Government, and in many areas, State and local governments, offers free training and counseling to develop an international business plan to get started doing business globally. A great first step is finding your local Small Business Development Center and taking advantage of their online and in-person resources. Additionally, District Export Councils are comprised of exporters and export service providers who promote exporting in their local business communities, including through education and mentoring. You can put this network to use as you craft your international business plan. 

If your startup or small business has done business in one or two foreign markets and you’re interested in finding new opportunities and expanding sales, get in touch with your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center, staffed by ITA professionals whose mission is to help you develop your export plan.

2. Know when to seek the counsel of a lawyer you trust. International business can be complicated, and you need to ensure your ideas, trademarks, and copyrights are protected and that you’re compliant with applicable U.S. and foreign laws. Professional legal guidance will help you find the right path. Until you’re ready for that step, peruse the business guide to intellectual property on StopFakes.gov. Another resource is the Export Legal Assistance Network, a network of attorneys who volunteer their time to provide an initial legal consultation free of charge to new exporters to assist with issues related to export licensing, taxation, tariffs, and intellectual property.

3. It’s never too late to go back to school.  Your campus days might be behind you, but local universities and community colleges often provide opportunities for business expansion. You might find your next partner or investor at a networking event, and many schools offer international immersion programs that can broaden your global mindset and help you make connections in markets of interest. At many business schools, students team up with local companies to conduct market research and develop market entry strategies.  Companies interested in exporting can take advantage of these cooperative agreements and receive market research products either free of charge or for a very low fee.

You can hear directly from women entrepreneurs who used these strategies to build global businesses by joining Startup Global: Women Go Global, a free program that will take place on Thursday, March 18 at 2:00PM EST. Think of it as global business goddess bootcamp. In 90 minutes, you’ll learn the ins and outs of starting a global business from day one from women who have been there. Hear about their challenges, what they learned along the way, and how they emerged triumphant.

Startup Global is a collaboration between the International Trade Administration and the Global Innovation Forum that provides focused advice to small and early-stage U.S. companies looking to grow their businesses by engaging in the global marketplace.  Startup Global offers educational seminars and connects entrepreneurs to the tools and experts they need to grow a global business. In honor of International Women’s Day, Startup Global has created a special program for all the global business goddesses out there. Register for the online event by visiting https://globalinnovationforum.com/events/startup-global-women/.