Today, I had the pleasure of being a featured presenter to a group of awesome women entrepreneurs visiting the United States for the International Visitor Leadership Program. During the session, Women & Entrepreneurship, twenty women from across the globe gathered to hear strategies and insider tips for business success.
Sponsored by the United States Department of State and Phelps Stokes, the program was a part of a three-week visit designed to:
- Provide examples of entrepreneurial efforts in the U.S, particularly those initiated by women;
- Illustrate the essential role of non-governmental and grassroots organizations in supporting and empowering the development of women-owned businesses; and,
- Highlight the social, economic, and political factors that influence and encourage the development of private enterprise in the U.S.
PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Hailing from Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Gambia, Germany, Hungary, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Venezuela, these women are focused and poised to become great forces in their home countries and globally.
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Because so many of our ASK THE STATEGIST readers are entrepreneurs, or company and organizational leaders, I am sharing key tips on advocacy imparted to the women during my presentation. There are three types of advocacy every smart business owner should employ on a regular basis:
1. Individual Advocacy: The reality is that no one is going to be as excited, motivated and committed to your entity as you are. So, it is important to be a vigilant advocate for your business. Whether it is taking courses to learn more about your industry, researching potential funding, articulating your messaging, or mapping out your company’s overall strategy and operations, you are ultimately responsible for being your own cheerleader and motivator.
2. Collaborative Advocacy: As the old saying does, there is power in numbers. The adage applies to building businesses, as well. Strategic partners and alliances are a great way to increase your capabilities, develop ideas, raise funding and promote your products and services. Allies are great advocates, and can become vital cheerleaders on your company’s behalf. Collaborating to position your company in a favorable way, while increasing your branding and outreach is a good thing.
3. Legislative Advocacy: Advocating for your business or organization, and gaining strategic alliances will help you go a long way toward sustaining your entity. However, often calling upon our elected officials and legislators is a necessary action, especially if advocacy involves systemic issues, such as education, the environment, health, the economy, and community development. Know who your elected officials are in your community and where your business is located!
THE PERFECT PITCH
A special *shout out* goes to Nicole Joseph, founder of Ms. Brafit, who won The Perfect Pitch contest during the presentation. Congratulations!
The Perfect Pitch: Nicole Joseph-Chin, Founder of Ms. Brafit
Visit Nicole’s company website: www.msbrafit.com
Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsBrafit