Today in Global Small Business: If You Want to Lift Up Humanity, Empower Women


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

  • Anytime is a good time to expand a business internationally.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Quote of the week:  “If you want to lift up humanity, empower women.  It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.” – Melinda Gates
  • With global sales among franchisees doubling to $2 billion over the last five years, Waco-based Neighborly has become a household name.
  • Entrepreneurs burn out and often walk away from their businesses before they reach the success levels they so longed to reach. They give up just before things “take off” in their business.  Find out why and what to do about it.
  • Global trade and exportation of such good is an intricate, complex, and often difficult task that hinges on financing; trade financing.  Trade financing, much like many forms of credit providing, is a key component of the success of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), but that key is not always easy to obtain.  Learn how blockchain-based trade financing is playing into the equation.
  • India is looking to fight a lonely battle on global rules for e-commerce trade at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with close to 70 countries siding with the US to have a multilateral mechanism.    

Ambitious Women Are Unleashing Their Potential by Starting Businesses


Foreign correspondent Tanzeel Akhtar talks to successful female entrepreneurs from Nigeria and South Africa to find out about their achievements and discover what motivates them.

Female entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa is rising rapidly, with a number of ambitious women defying the odds, going solo and unleashing their potential.

There are also a number of global initiatives supporting and propelling female-run businesses on the continent but the fact remains that there are still challenges women need to overcome.

For example:

In sub-Saharan Africa, at least 40% of the labour force is female, according to the Pew Research Centre.  However, 74% of women’s non-agricultural employment is informal, in contrast with 61% for men.

Read more about the wonderful stories of women who dare to dream.  Be inspired.

‘Leftover Women’ Documentary Chronicles the Story of China’s Attack on Unmarried Professional Women

China’s gender imbalance — 30 million more men than women — is the reason why being single and older than 27 has become a social crisis.

5 min read

Most Americans are aware of China’s one-child policy, the population-control rule that from 1979 to 2013 sharply limited the number of Chinese births. Less well known outside China is an offshoot campaign currently being run by the government that targets and shames sheng nu (leftover women) for the “crime” of being an unmarried educated professional woman older than 27. 

The systematic disparagement and discrimination these women face is the subject of Leftover Women, an affecting new documentary by Israeli filmmakers Shosh Schlam and Hilla Medalia which had its New York premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this week.

Related: 4 Mistakes We All Make to Perpetuate Gender Bias

Due to its one-child policy, China today has 30 million more men than women of marriageable age. The government views this gender imbalance as a threat to the social order. In an interview with Entrepreneur, the filmmakers detailed its effects. “One side effect is women trafficking,” said Shosh Schlam. “Another side effect is that more men will not have the traditional role of head of the family,” meaning the opportunity to father children and continue the family name. The government, Schlam said, fears that a glut of unmarried men could cause violence or, worse, that these men might “turn” gay — which is illegal in China and subject to harsh penalties.

Whatever the government’s motive, sheng nu is stigmatizing urban professional women who want to start businesses or pursue careers in law, media and academia as being selfish.

“When these women [from China’s educated class] are growing up, they have a lot of pressure to succeed — to be the best in their class,” said Hilla Medalia. And their parents really push; the whole society pushes them to succeed and go to university. Then they start their career. But then they have to stop everything and get married. Their entire value is based on this one thing.”

Related: Sexist Job Ads Discriminate Against Women in China — Even Specifying Applicants’ Required Height, Weight and Facial Structure

To document the impact, Shlam and Medalia returned to China, site of their first, 2014, collaboration, Web Junkie. They conducted a lengthy search for single women using Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Dozens of women came forward, the filmmakers said, but the vast majority wanted only to discuss their woes with sheng nu off camera, for fear of bringing shame to their families. Ultimately, the filmmakers found and focused on three ambitious and brave Beijing women:

Qiu Hua Mei, age 34, is a lawyer who faces an uphill battle for finding an educated mate given her (socially lower) rural village roots. She is cruelly criticized by her family (“Schooling makes you dumb,” her illiterate father says, expressing regret for having paid her university tuition). In another disturbing scene, a dating counselor tells her, “You’re not beautiful in the traditional sense. You have a tough personality and need to soften yourself.” A prospective match, meanwhile, who’s similarly well educated and similarly from a rural village, announces that once he marries, he intends to be the “dominant” spouse.

Xu Min, 28, is a radio talk show host who lives with an overbearing mother who tells her, “You’re not old. You’re not a ‘leftover woman’ yet.”

Gai Qi, 36, is an assistant professor of film. She does marry and has a daughter during the course of the film, with a husband the filmmakers call “extraordinary” for his social faux pas — marrying a woman older than himself — and for his willingness to follow her to a better job in Guangzhou.

Over the span of three years, Hua Mei and Xu Min are individually followed by cameras as they attend a massive government-sponsored “annual blind date event,” check out a Valentine’s Day dating party and visit a gynecologist’s office (where Hua Mei is told it’s illegal to freeze her eggs). Then there’s the “relationship expert” Xu Min consults, who ends up delving deeply into her emotions. Breaking into tears, she admits that she is so obedient to her mother, she can’t actually date a man her mom dislikes.

A happier note is the joyful wedding of Gai Qi, who tells the filmmakers she was so worried her marriage might threaten her career that, “I was not planning on a happy ending.” That happy ending, however, is short-lived; later in the film, Gai Qi admits she finds marriage boring.

Hua Mei, meanwhile, is the polar opposite. She wants to date, but not marry, she tells her parents back home in their impoverished village. But, after months of sitting alone in desolate bars and getting the third degree from mothers of sons in public parks advertising their sons’ eligibility, Hua Mei gives up: She abandons her home country altogether to study in far-off France: “There are voices all around me,” she tells the filmmakers. “I want to have a life without those voices, just to live my life.

“I could live a wonderful life,” Hua Mei continues. “All this [grief occurs] because I’m not getting married. I live in a constant fight, a life of exile.” She even compares sheng nu to China’s infamous practice of foot-binding: “I have big feet,” she sighs, describing herself and her ambition, borne out by the fact that she has recently moved to Munich to start a business.

Related: China Considers Law Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace

How This Entrepreneur Is Improving Women’s Health

This non-profit is testing new strategies and tools that can aid in the eradication of breast cancer.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

At Susan G. Komen — a local, non-profit organization geared towards health and wellness — every day is a step closer to innovative solutions and advancements in women’s well-being.

Tiosha Bailey, the firm’s current executive director, is testing new strategies and tools that can aid in the eradication of breast cancer. Through direct financing and investments aimed at breast cancer prevention and cure programs, in addition to funding for production of other breast health services and mammograms, Bailey has created numerous growth opportunities for the organization.

One of the key elements in Bailey’s strategy includes the Chicago Health Equity Initiative, a collaborative effort among those in the healthcare industry to provide women greater access to vital services. Learn more about Bailey and Susan G. Komen in the full video above.

Related: This Non-Profit Is Almost 100 Years Old. Its President Uses a 3-Word Slogan to Keep It Running Smoothly.

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Women Entrepreneurs Are Lifting the Developing Economies


The Asian Correspondent reports that although barriers facing women-owned SMEs are not dissimilar to those that male entrepreneurs face, there are significant gender differences in the reasons that women give for not scaling up — such as loans, innovation, expansion or exporting. These differences have policy implications for government and business stakeholders in understanding the enabling factors and barriers that women entrepreneurs face.

Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™, a leading USA nonprofit which educates women entrepreneurs and business owners on how to go global believes that to succeed in today’s economic climate — and beyond — it’s more essential than ever for women business owners to be informed and inspired to grow global

Asian Correspondent goes on to say that having an entrepreneurial mindset plays a critical role when women SME owners decide not to apply for a loan, not export or not expand their business. The number one reason given for not exporting was that the owner was content with the current state of business. For not applying for a loan, it was an aversion to taking on any debt.

Read more about how female business owners face a unique set of challenges.

No Best Time for Women Entrepreneurs to Start a Business, Infographic Shows

Don’t worry about the best age for you as a woman to start a business? Because the infographic from Missy Empire proves age has nothing to do with it. The willingness to go for it seems more important.  Women entrepreneurs can succeed whether they are in their teens or older.

The “Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs” infographic below lists women who have succeeded in their respective fields. Sure, fashion and cosmetics make up 63% of the fields on the list. But the remaining 37% come from different industries.

These women should inspire both male and female entrepreneurs. Because they all started with small businesses. That goes for Beyoncé when she started out as a local entertainer. But also for Sarah Blakely selling her first Spanx. They all started out small.

The infographic shows how far anyone, women, in this case, can reach with hard work and perseverance. Highlighting their accomplishments is especially important so it can inspire young girls to go after anything they put their minds to.

The CEO of Missy Empire, Ash Siddique put it best in the emailed press release. Siddique said, “Female entrepreneurs are so important and they need to be talked about. Young people today can be inspired by these successful celebrities and know that you don’t necessarily need to have the most obvious criteria to become a Girl Boss.”

Siddique went on to say, “We have researched women from all walks of life, and that shows budding entrepreneurs that everybody has a chance to be successful if they work hard enough.”

Top Women Entrepreneurs

Missy Empire ranked each of its female entrepreneurs based on several criteria with a possible score of 66. They were scored on everything from net worth to the number of companies they own, qualifications, social mentions, charitable contributions and more.

So being the richest doesn’t necessarily put you on top of the list. With that in mind, Beyoncé was top on the list, even though she is not the richest. Her number of charitable contributions, awards, social media following, and of course net worth contributed to her top spot.

The same goes for Ellen DeGeneres who was second. She is also not the richest, but she contributed more than anyone to charitable causes on the list along with her other accomplishments.

Number three on the list was Kim Kardashian. Kim is quite wealthy, but she also makes a high number of contribution to charitable causes, coming at number four on the list, which is better than Oprah.

Kim also has the highest social media following with more than 132 million on Instagram and over 60 million on Twitter.

The top five includes her sister Kylie Jenner at number four (the youngest billionaire on the list at 21 years of age), and Oprah Winfrey at the number five spot.

The top ten list continues with Serena Williams at number six, followed by Gwen Stefani, Paris Hilton, Venus Williams, and Khloe Kardashian.

Women-owned Small Businesses

Women-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion in revenue to the US economy, and they employ around 9 million people. But even with these impressive number, there are still challenges when it comes to funding and accessing other resources.

By highlighting the achievement of these women like the infographic, policymakers, financial institutions, and private investors can see it pays to go into business with women. And the more they remove the remaining barriers, the faster they can capitalize on the opportunities.

You can take a look at the rest of the data on the infographic below.

Top Female Entrepreneurs Statistics


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This Event is for Women Entrepreneurs Only

The number of women-owned businesses has risen in recent years, but they still face challenges. Overcome them with these tips for women entrepreneurs.

Sorry guys, this is for women entrepreneurs only.

Beachpreneurs Beach Camp 5 is going to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida to teach women entrepreneurs how to optimize their business to create a lifestyle they’ll love.

As the event hosts said, “You CAN create an income that isn’t 100% dependent on your time.”

Beachpreneurs Co-Founders Nicole Dean and Kelly McCausey are the hosts of the event. And they have held 8 Beach House Retreats and 5 Beach Camp Hotel Events.

Women across a range of expertise will speak during the three-day event. They will discuss social media, customer acquisition, improving communication and productivity, passive income and much more.

In addition to the speakers adviser will also lead topic tables.

Don’t miss this event in sunny Daytona Beach from April 12-14, 2019. Click the red button and register now.

Register Now

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Elevate Your Digital InfluenceElevate Your Digital Influence
April 13, 2019, Issaquah, Wash.

Are you ready to grow your business? Join us and learn how to put together a PR plan and leverage what you are doing on social to grow your level of influence. Are you ready to be a leader in your marketplace? #ElevateYourDigitalInfluence

Listening to the Voice of the Customer WorkshopListening to the Voice of the Customer Workshop
April 23, 2019, Boston, Mass.

Join Applied Marketing Science (AMS) for the next open-enrollment session of “Listening to the Voice of the Customer,” our acclaimed training workshop, on April 23-24, 2019 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel located in the heart of downtown Boston. Led by veteran product development and market research experts, Gerry Katz (AMS Vice Chairman), and John Burns (AMS Principal), this course will introduce Voice of the Customer market research and teach you to use it to accelerate innovation in business-to-business markets.
Discount Code
SMALLBIZ ($100 Discount)

Beachpreneurs Beach Camp 5Beachpreneurs Beach Camp 5
April 26, 2019, Daytona Beach, Fla.

For starters, we’re for Women Entrepreneurs only. During Beach Camp, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn, apply and mastermind with warm successful women.
You’ll also have time to sleep in and you’ll get long breaks to relax and walk the beach or go for a swim. We didn’t create a conference at the beach just to lock you away in a conference room from dawn til dusk. Beach Camp is a lifestyle focused event so you’ll be spending as much time enjoying your life as you will be focusing on your business. Join us today!

Listening to the Voice of the Customer Listening to the Voice of the Customer
October 16, 2019, Chicago, Ill.

Led by veteran product development and market research experts, this course will introduce Voice of the Customer (VOC) market research and teach you to use it to accelerate innovation in business-to-business markets. The workshop uses a lively, interactive format with numerous hands-on activities and practice exercises to build skills and will also expose you to the latest applications of these techniques in areas such as machine learning and journey mapping.
Discount Code
SMALLBIZ ($100 Off)

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More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.
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wegg®: The Secret Sauce to Getting More Women to Export

©Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™.  Used with permission.

What am I [Laurel Delaney] most passionate about?  Helping entrepreneurs and business owners expand their businesses internationally.   In particular, I want to see more women business owners move into this territory — outside their comfort zone and into the world of business.

Based on experience, I knew that women who run businesses are less likely to trade internationally than those owned by men. I wanted to change the landscape for women from being risk-averse to having confidence to go for it—with the appropriate support. And that’s how wegg® [Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™] was born, which I’ll tell you more about in a bit.

Read more about how wegg is the secret sauce to getting more women to export.