Diversity In Business: Tools for Success
Hello. And welcome my name. Is Karen n strim and I'm the director for the Global Entrepreneurship program in, the, Bureau of economic, and business affairs here. At the US Department, of State and today. I'll be your moderator for this second program, in, our diverse diversity. And business series tools, for success a few. Weeks ago the, US government and the Republic of India, co-hosted. The 2017. Global, Entrepreneurship, summit in Hyderabad, India from, November 28th, to the 30th the, summit. Brought together some of the world's most dynamic entrepreneurs. Investors. And, entrepreneurial. Ecosystem, builders the. Theme was women. First prosperity. For all and the, agenda was filled with master, classes and breakout sessions, on a wide, range of topics from crowdfunding. And access. To finance, to, networking and scaling, your business I was. Lucky enough to attend the summit as where. My fellow panelists, joining me today for those, who were not able to attend we, wanted to bring the global entrepreneurs summit to you today, and talk, about some of the topics and takeaways, from the summit, sitting. Next to me is rahama, Wright. Founder. And CEO of shea yeleen health, and beauty a social impact company, she created, after serving in the Peace Corps in Mali. Rahama. Was a featured speaker at this year's summit as well as last year's and is, ready to share her insights and, tips with all of you today. Also. Joining us virtually is, Susan Sadako Woods president. And CEO of Nathan, associates, a private. International, consulting, firm. Susan. Was also a featured speaker, at the Global Entrepreneurship, summit this year and brings. A wealth of experience to, this discussion. Additionally. We, have other entrepreneurs, with us today and you'll find them in the Facebook comments section, look. There for curve and Leatham founder, and CEO of era probe an online, platform that encourages the development and, affordable, housing, by connecting, developers, with, a network of credible lenders and financing. Programs. Curvin. Has over 10 years of experience and, banking, and real estate development. He. Also participated, in the Global Entrepreneurship summit last, month. Latisha, Gasca, is also online, she. Is the executive director, of the, failure Institute, the, first think tank devoted, to studying business, failure and the, reasons behind such, failures, and, last. But, not least we. Have Kedah, bari schottische. Who, will be online she. Is a founder, of the women entrepreneurship, development organization. Which, supports, women's, financial, empowerment. Curvin, Leticia. And kadambari. Represent. A wealth of knowledge and expertise, and would be adding their thoughts to the conversation. And helping. To answer your questions, throughout the program. Others. Participating. In this chat include, a group assembled at the US consulate in Chennai India we. Will introduce them shortly and are happy to have their voices in this conversation, as well. Lastly. We. Want to recognize all of our viewers and viewing, groups around the world that, are gathering to watch we. Want to hear your voices too, we. Will be answering your questions, throughout, the program, so, please write them in the comments, for this video and we will try to answer as many of them as possible.
So. I'd like to start the conversation by. Reporting, the responses, to a poll we shared on social media, over, the past couple weeks, we. Asked people what. Topic, they wanted this panel to talk about today. How. To grow your business receive. The highest response. We. Want to cover several, topics today but, we will give priority to our, most in-demand topic, and start, off the conversation with, that so. Rahama, perhaps, I can turn to you first. What. Were your biggest takeaways, from the summit about. This topic and perhaps, you, can share some of your own tips and advice on how, entrepreneurs can, grow their business, yeah, absolutely thank. You so much Karen, first of all let me congratulate, you the US government, and the Indian government for hosting a fantastic. Summit. I thought, it was an amazing, opportunity for. Entrepreneurs, to come together and, meet each other and it was a great platform, to talk about conversations. Around scaling, your business conversations. Around how to grow your business so in terms of the tips I have for this specific. Very, interesting, question, I would, say it falls into, three. Buckets so what's your product, and service. What's. The process that, you get your product to in service to your customer, and then, who are the people who are helping you who are the people who aren't on your team who, are your advisors, who. Are your. Investors and so, people. Process. Product, or service and I think that in order for any business to be successful in scaling, and growing the. Entrepreneur, the business owner really, needs to look at these three areas and, identify. The. Issues, the challenges they, have in each area and then figure out the appropriate solutions. And so, for, me for example with my company, with Shailene we, create a body care product that we bring to the US market so, our product, is natural. Organic products. Are in. Terms, of our process, we, ethically, source to. Bring those products to market and then, the people around us we have investors, who help us in terms of funding our idea, and then, the, people who buy our products we work. With Whole Foods Markets, and other retail, chains so, it's really figuring, out and identifying, you know what, is your process to bring your product or service to market who are the people around you and are you serving a specific. Need and. Susan. If I could turn to you do you have thoughts, to share I can. Thanks. For. Letting. Me be. GES. Discussion. Going forward, I. Think. That, there. Was so much time, and effort committed. To this topic, at GES. And we've. Heard some of the issues, now in terms of people. Process, and technology. But, I think there are also a few other key, elements. That should be considered, first. So important, to have a vision, a plan and. Targets, it's. Really, critical, that you're continuously. Tracking. Those and, honestly. Assessing. How, you're doing against, those and, that. Third, you, need to focus on both the hard and the soft topics. Those. Must. Be viewed in alignment they have to stay in alignment for. Maximum, benefit, I'd. Also add, that flexibility. Is key you, need to ensure, that your, your, product, your offering. Continues. To meet the demand, of the market and that you're adjusting on a continuous. Basis, as needed. The, last thing I'll say is, it's. Also important, to know when not to grow your business to. Understand. If you should take a breath, and focus. On internal. Delivery. Or, operational. Or other. Issues. You. Can't always be, in growth mode smart, strategic, growth is what, we're trying to go after, Thanks. Excellent. Thanks Susan thanks for Hama while. We were at the Global Entrepreneurship, summit last month we, asked a few of the attendees, there what entrepreneurship. Means to them in three, words and here's. What they had to say. In. Three words entrepreneurship. To me is. Purposeful. Impactful. And creative. Okay. Collaborative. Strong. And. Brave. In. Three, words okay. Strong. Focused. And. With. Lot of integrity. Fearless. Passionate. And, eager. Introvert. Brave. Risky. And. Joyful. People. It's. Right. Great. Answers, in fact you might have recognized, rahama in the first part of that video for.
All Our Facebook viewers let us know what entrepreneurship, means to you in three words in the comments section, and now. Let's go to our viewing group at the US Consul in Chennai India for a question, welcome, to nye do, you have a question for rahama, or Susan. Yes. So. US consulate Chennai hosted, at GSA and, IIT, Madras on, November 28th the amplifi the summit and Hyderabad what. We learned is women, entrepreneurs, are interested in learning, how. To, pitch their products, and services do. You have any, top. Tips for this. Thanks. For the question should I I, believe the question, was women. Entrepreneurs, our interest of interest, and any. Sort of tips for women entrepreneurs and focus on that perhaps. If I can turn to rahama, first yeah so, I've been, through the, the shark tank, pitching. My products, pitching my idea, and I would say, one. Very important. Tip is know your audience that, you're pitching to know. Who's going to be in the room do some background research on those individuals, so that you can really create a targeted, pitch the. Other thing is understand, your numbers. Oftentimes. Whether you're pitching to a buyer, pitching to an investor, pitching. To a partner, you really want to be able to understand, the, financial model that you're working with and understand. How that model, will, be successful, financially. And the, other thing is have fun with your pitch you, know smile, maybe, you know practice. Practice practice I always, practice in the mirror and. Try. To make it fun still you know sometimes we get so nervous when it comes to pitching that we forget when, you go into that room and you pitch your product or your service you, really are trying to connect with that person or with the individuals, who'll be listening to your pitch excellent. And. Now if we can go, to a few questions from our online audience. We, have asmar, from. Nigeria, as how, does one combine public, and community, service with entrepreneurship. Susan. Can I turn to you perhaps to answer. That question. Absolutely. Karen I think, it's. A great question first, of all because we're always trying, to balance the corporate, social responsibility. With, the, commitment. To our own, stakeholders. And shareholders. I think, there are several ways to do it in some, cases you, can build, that idea, of. Community. Service, and support, into. The company, right from the beginning and, have, it become a foundation, of how, the company, operates that. Could be in terms of volunteering. Giving, back, sponsoring. Scholarships. In other, cases, some. Entrepreneurs. Have certain, targets, for themselves, that, they want to meet and accomplish, first I think the most important, point in all of this is, to find the, model, that works best for you and for your company. Recognizing. That it will change over, time. Excellent. And our. American Center, in Moscow asks could you please talk about the importance, of time management, in business I think, you've already touched on that slightly but maybe you could elaborate, rahama yeah, in terms of time management it's, really, important, and for me I live by my calendar, I always. Schedule. Everything, and ensure that it goes on my calendar, because if it doesn't go on my calendar, it won't, happen because, I'm juggling, so much and balancing, so much that I will likely forget so I think that one, fantastic. Way of time management is put it on a calendar and set reminders for yourself and also, have really, appropriate deadlines, for any project, or tasks that you're working on and I think everyone on my team we're all on the calendar yeah. Good. Approach. And. We also have a question what are some strategies for finding potential, investors. Susan. Can I throw, that one your way, yeah. I mean this is such a big topic and one that was really, addressed. Anything in depth at GES, I think. First you have to do your homework there's. No way around the fact that there's a huge, amount of opportunities. Out there an equal. Amount of competition. So, do your homework. Understand. What the range of options are in terms of investment. Understand. The profile. Of the different, investors, which, of those potential. Investors. Is most likely to provide, funds, for your, business, type for your market, for your geography, then. I also can't. Highlight, enough the importance, of networking and, mentoring.
Again. Another major topic, of GES. Find. People. Surround, yourself, with people, get honest feedback from, people who, really have, the knowledge and experience that you're seeking, and ask, very, specific questions. For. Concrete, benefits, when you engage with that can. I follow up on that question, what. Are some of the specific, questions. That you might ask a potential mentor. Susan. Specifically. In terms of, investing. Or. In general, I think the very important, starting, point is to make sure that, the potential. Mentor. Understands. What your goals are so, it's important, to, articulate. What your goals are what you're looking for as part of the relationship, and then. First and foremost, ask if the mentor thinks, he or she can, provide support, the, other areas, I think that you can focus on with the mentor are, either in terms of operations. Or in, terms of business, development and growth, where. The third bucket would be the financial, corporate. Structure, in each, of those I, think it's very important, to identify, several. Key areas. For focus. And I think the best approach would be to have a combination, of short. Medium, and long term topics. And issues and, goals that you can discuss, with your mentor, excellent. Karen, can I add real apically please I also think that it's important, for entre, preneur to know the. Different. Types of funding, opportunities, which susan kind of alluded to you, know what's an angel investor. What's a private equity firm, what's your venture capitalist, firm are. There other models of getting, access to funding outside of, equity. You know and. Is. Crowdfunding more, appropriate, for you at your current business, size, and, in, terms of your growth and the last thing is that people, give, money to people you, cannot, underestimate, the, power of. Cultivating. And creating, the, right relationships. To get to the funding that you need and so I would really encourage entrepreneurs. Before, you go for a funding round actually, create, like an, advisory. Group of individuals, who will help you with that process you, know you really need to have have, in place advice around the accounting, advice around the legal ramifications and, so create, an advisory, board specifically. To help you with fundraising, because, you're not going to know all the different things and, it's one, of those things where you, want to make sure you have the right people around you who can guide that process and you know don't do it alone mm-hmm, well as a follow-on to that so why, is networking. Important. Networking. Is important. Because it, one, allows, you to connect with people it. Allows you to put, yourself in an environment where you can learn, from others and it, gives you access to, individuals, who could potentially join, your. Mission, join your business or vice versa I think. It's really important, when it comes to networking people. Shouldn't only look at how what can I get out of this but also what can I give and, I think that again. Anything. When, you're trying to be successful at business it all goes back to people so. Putting, yourself in environments, particularly, like the, Global Entrepreneurship, summit is, a huge, platform for networking, putting. Yourself in a room with individuals, you might never meet because you. Know they live, in India or they you. Know live in Brazil, but, there could be some. Collaborations. You can have with those individuals, when networking is really important because it gives you access to the people who. Can help you. Get to the goal. That you're trying to achieve or that, you can help other people get, to the goal but they're trying to achieve excellent. One. Of the other questions that we've received is how can I make my business more attractive, to potential investors, including, those, based in other countries. Can, I turn to Susan but maybe rahama if you have anything, to add Susan, first yeah, absolutely. I, think first, and foremost right, as I, think we've all been alluding, to you, need to make sure that, what. You're trying to sell overseas. Translates. Right it's. Even more important, on an international. Stage to, understand. What's. Working over, there what are the key trends, what are the legal and regulatory, activities. Do, those facilitate. Or constrain, what you're trying to do so. That's, one, part of it is again more. Than ever do your research but. Here is where the mentoring, and the networking, I think are so important, because you, have to understand, the competitive environment you. Have to understand. You, know what else is is, happening, around you, and the last thing that I would add and that is know, your own strengths.
And Limitations if, you're not used to dealing with, international. Business, get, help early on the. Key is to ask questions, and get the right answers, before, you make a mistake right. So ask early. Questions make, sure you get the right answers, and then, come up with a very, thoughtful. Plan, on how, you translate. An export, what, you want to do. Rahama. You, know I'm dad the only thing I would add is you, know it's not about you it's about. The need that you're filling with your business idea so. Any. Successful, business is providing a solution whether, it's a product or a service and, so. Really, at the, core of your business model is who's your customer so. If you're trying to answer this question how do I make my my product, or my service more attractive, whether it's to investors, or to your customers, the question becomes what, are you trying to solve and. So really start there and really, Zone, in and I if I what, problem. Issue you're solving and from, there you can figure out how to make it attractive, and how to connect, it to that, customer, and, I think that that's so important, people want to scale and grow businesses, but, oftentimes they're not looking at it from the lens of their customer, what. Are you providing to them no exactly, good point. This. Question, I'm gonna turn to you or Hama what's. The biggest mistake to, avoid when working with a mentor, or when networking. When. Working. With a mentor I think that at. Least from the experiences, I've had mentoring. Others, is, not. Having, a, clear. Sense of what. Your ask is and I. Think that this is when you've already established of, course a mentor mentee relationship and. I, think sometimes. The. Mentee. Can, put. The mentor, in a position of solve, my problems. For me. And. Oftentimes. The, most successful, mentor. Mentee relationships, I've had are ones, where the, mentee, has done the work done. The initial work of researching. Of, understanding. Some of the issues and challenges that, they're dealing with and they come with a specific ask, in, terms of like I've tried this it, hasn't worked can you help me with this and I, think that takes, off the pressure of, the mentor. Having, to figure out all the issues solutions. And it actually creates, focus, within the relationship, so, that the mentee, is actually progressing, forward but. Also being an active, part of figuring. Out the the. Solutions. And the answers to the issues that they're dealing with I mean some you know some people come to me on are like oh I want to create a, skin. Care business how, do i how do I do it and it's like well there are so many different. Issues and, challenges what. Have you tried and what's not working and how can I help you with that right it helps you give, that added value exactly. It more important, yes. We, have another question Rosa. Parks library, and sweater asks, how, do you upscale from a small business to a big business Susan. Can, I asked you for your thoughts yeah. Absolutely the first thing is very carefully. Because. That is definitely, a tipping, point and, that's sadly, where a lot of a lot, of businesses, fail and a, lot of times I believe they, fail because they. Really, aren't answering. They're. Not asking, themselves the right question, they're, not answering the, questions, honestly and. They're, not really. Looking at the issue from. A phone perspective. So, I think the key. To remember is not only is, what, you're scaling. What. You're selling, scalable. Right but. Can you maintain the, quality if, you scale, can. You. Maintain. The. Rigour of your. Back office processes. So. That I think the bottom line here, is if you're going to scale you need a very specific, plan, where. You think out what. Is the jump, that you're gonna have to make from one side to the other and, how, do you plan for that and the. Last point I'd say is that I think people, underestimate. The. Amount of time that it's, going to take, to.
Make. That leap. Because. The back-office, activities. Not. Only the accounting. And the invoicing. But, just the technology. The communications. Are, critically, very, important. And last, but not least you have to say to yourself, are you and your team, the right people. To, go from a small business to a larger, one or do, you need to bring in more help. Specifically. That, for the, advisors, the mentors, to, make sure you make them as smoothly. Excellent. Again, great questions, great answers, and now. What we'd like to do is maybe flip things around a bit and ask our audience a question the. Theme of this Facebook, Live series is diversity, in business so, we want to know what. Does inclusion, and diversity in business mean to you let. Us know by writing your thoughts in the comment section and we'll read out a few of your answers late in the program and. While. We're waiting for your answers to come in I want to ask for Hama to talk briefly about what, how she has made her business, a success. And also, how she's made it more inclusive in, a diverse business, and, the benefits, of actually of taking, that approach no no absolutely. So, I started sailing after serving in the Peace Corps and during. My time in the Peace Corps I started learning about this. Product called shea butter and so. I the, the foundation, of my business model is looking at how to help women in small rural villages, in northern Ghana bring. High quality shea. Products to the US market and we, start by, taking. BC. Helping. Women transform. These seeds into a product and, go through the entire supply, and value chain where. We're helping these women benefit. From the upside of the market and so the, entire model is looking at including. Women in the. Supply chain in a way where they're able to generate living wages take. Better care of themselves and, their families, and so, creating. An inclusive business, model is not, only important. To a company like Shailene but it's important, to all companies every. Business model should look at how are you including. Everyone. Because, when you have diversity. In your model, it actually. Allows you to be more, stable it. Allows you to make greater impact, and it just allows you to create better products, and so, I really encourage. Businesses. To. Leverage. A few, of the resources that I have left leveraged, which include, being certified as a women and minority-owned, business and so, there are certification programs. That are here, in the US but there are also international, certification. Programs as well that's, a really great way to start so, that you can access larger. Companies so for example on my panel Walmart. There is a representative, from Walmart on my panel so, they're looking at ways of diversifying their, supply chain and by working with, certified. Businesses, it gives them that credibility, that they're investing, in ways in their supply chain that's, supporting, diversity, and inclusion. The. Other thing is you have to understand, the quality standards. A lot of quality, standards for your product or your service and, ensure, that you're creating something that will actually fit, in a model that can grow and then, the last thing that I would say is seek. Out partnerships. Because you can't do it alone and so, I've been really successful because, yes. I want to work with women, in rural villages but how am I doing that I live in the United States, and. So, I have to have partnerships, and those. Partnerships include, working with co-operative, groups and working, with a team in Ghana to help me achieve that mission and so, again to, create these supply chains and ways that are adding. Greater value, for everyone you, really need to look at how you're. Developing, a model that, allows you to leverage working. With large companies creating. Those effective, partnerships, and really, understanding. The quality controls.
That You need to be able to to. Scale and grow no. Excellent, and I assume those four the messages, that you delivered during your presentation, at the Sandy yes excellent. For. Those of you just joining us I'm here with globally recognized, entrepreneurs. Rahama, right and Susan, Shaw Daka woods who, are online today, to answer your questions. About access, to finance, networking. Mentorship. Scaling. Your business and much more. Let's. Now go back to our viewing group in India Chennai, do you have another question for, a rahama or Susan, Jenai. We wanted to circle back to the discussion on mentorship and, the question is how. Can one identify a mentor. And then, develop an effective mentor. Mentee, relationship. So. If I understand the question was about mentorship, and how do you identify a, mentor, and establish. Effective mentor. Mentee, relationship. Rahama. Can I turn to you first sure absolutely. In terms, of identifying the. Right mentor for your. Idea, for your business or whatever you're trying to do I think, networking obviously. Is one area of doing that another. Way is if, you've already gone through college. And graduated, university look. At the alumni network that, you belong to there. Might be low-hanging, in terms of finding, linkages, of in common with someone who would want to mentor someone who's already done what you're trying to do and because, you have that connection because you belong to the same alumni network, it's. An easy ask the. Other thing is what, are some of the associations, you belong to you, know there. Are women's groups there are organizations, for you know there are even associations, for some of the products, and services that are out there so. Maybe that's another area where you can find someone who can mentor you and then of course there's this resource, called LinkedIn and if you're if, you're utilizing LinkedIn, that's, another area where you could potentially find someone, to mentor you but, I think the most effective strategy, I've used, is. Leveraging. Warm, introductions. From people that I already know in my circle, because. Oftentimes, mentors, can, be very busy, and. It can be hard to grab their attention especially if they're at a level where they've become wildly. Successful and, so, sometimes if you already have a connection to that person, and you get a warm introduction that. Might be the easiest way to actually create to start the initial relationship and, I, would also say, in order, to have a successful relationship with, a mentor, it. Takes time and sometimes. You. Know because we we, need so much and we're trying, to grow and we want to be successful quickly. We, overlooked the step of you. Have to cultivate, the relationship. And sometimes not having, an ask right away is the best way to cultivate, a relationship, and, so in.
The, Successful, relationships. Where I've been mentored I've often, started, with actually volunteering. On a project, with a potential, mentor and from, there the relationship has, grown into a mentor, mentee relationship excellent. And. If I can I'd like to go back to our online viewers for some more questions now, let's. See we have a FISA Beckles from sportif sorry. A port of spain asked, do, you have any advice for breaking, into a saturated. Market. Susan, can I ask you to take this one yes. And I think the first question would, be why, right. Why are you breaking into a saturated, market and the answer to that question, will, lead, to. Perhaps, what. Are the hooks that you're going to use to achieve it is it because you have a different, solution, is it, because, the current. Providers. Aren't, really giving, a new, demographic what. They're looking for so figure. Out exactly why. You want to enter that market once. You figure that out, then. You can take a few very specific, steps. Right do start test marketing, and to validate what, your hypothesis. Was before. You invest, a huge amount of time or resources. Think. About was. Your assumption, right the, second, is network. Make. Sure that as you're getting feedback from, your testing. That, you're running that by people. In the field. Stakeholders. Academics. Others, who have a full perspective, of that, market, and what, the trend is going today, and I think that's the last part is think. About is the, saturated, market, a, point. In time or, a long-term. Likelihood. And then, you can adjust how, much time, and effort you invest as, well excellent. We. Have another question from Rosa Parks library in Soweto could. You please share three business lessons you learned during the first 100, days of, launching, your business, and I'm. Gonna send this one to you no way so. I think the, first hundred days is too short of the time line. Because. A. Lot. Of things about business everything, takes time so, a. Hundred. Days is just even though it's an excellent question it's just not enough time you know it's that's three months about three months but.
I Will say in, the first three. Years of. Creating, fail, we some. Of the lessons that I've learned is, you, will, be rejected a lot and you. Really have, to. Develop. A very thick stick thick skin to being rejected and I think people, don't know the. Volume, of rejections, that they'll face when they're starting something. New or starting. Something different and so you have to become you have to become comfortable with that the. Other thing is the, financial model piece it's. So important, to a business model and I, honestly did not have a financial model my first three years because, I was focused on like this is a great idea everyone, should be buying shea butter from women in Africa and then, I, didn't. Know how much it was gonna cost I didn't, know how much profit I was gonna make there, were so many different questions. That I really, hadn't, thought through. And if, I had it would have actually propelled. Me for, success, a lot earlier in my, journey and so, really, understanding what your financial model is is important. Before you even put up a website I think, people. Gravitate. Towards the marketing, side you, know what's my packaging, gonna look like what's my logo gonna look like what's you know what are those things gonna look like I would, say don't, start there instead. Start with what's my financial, model how am I actually gonna make money in this business, that's. Important, for. It and then of course lastly, and we've talked about this to know and the people who. Are the people who will be on your team who are gonna support this and when I say team when you initially start you're not gonna have the money to, pay people to work for you right and, so who are going to be your advisors, who are going to be the people who can help guide you through that process I mean we've talked about mentors, etc, but I really, I outside. Of mentors I strongly encourage having, like a group of advisers like an advisory, council to, help you when you're first starting out your business mm-hmm. Oh actually, this, is sort of a follow-on question, to that eight, ish survey, asks, how can you make your staff more efficient, you've talked about an advising, visor II counsel but what about your own staff. Staff. Management, has actually been one of my biggest challenges because. I'm not a micromanager. And I tend to be like okay here's the big vision let's, just make it happen and so, that's why earlier I talked about process, it's.
So Important, to have a process. Within your come that. Creates the culture that. Allows people to be empowered in your business to want to excel and to want to do well and I, think one of the things I've learned over you, know managing, people over the last five years it's, that it's really, important, to have a, process, in place that allows, people to communicate well, and this. Is where the time management the, calendars, the deadlines, but, also communicating. What their needs are communicating. What projects, that they're excited about communicating. The things they're not so excited about and one, of the things I try to do with. My team is really figuring out I have. Been fortunate enough to start a business that I get so excited about every day to come - what, do they get excited about because if it's not with my company, I really want them to find that for themselves and so, I think some of the things that we've done is, you. Know personality. Quizzes like, different, different. Things that I engage them more on, the personal level so because, if you're working eight hours at an office. You also want to make sure that people have that creativity, and that freedom to allow their personalities. To grow and then, of course making, sure that people, know what, the target is, you. Know what is the goal we're trying to achieve and how. Every, day are we working towards achieving that in small. Chunks so that people. Understand. That. They're moving, towards success and then, gratitude. Making, sure that people feel like they're being appreciated. For their work and then, of course, compensating. Them way, that makes them feel good as well when you catch important, and then when you're earlier, in your business. Some. Of the ways of compensating really. High-performing, individuals, is to give them shares within your company. Excellent. Susan. If I can turn to you this is sort of also related, to or what rahama was talking, about but, our American coroner and Men guang asked, how do you stay motivated if, my, business model, does, not succeed as, expected. That's. A great question, and I think a lot of what rahama has talked, and summit for other answers, plays. Into, this right I think first of all whether, it's the first hundred days or three years of your business, things, are not going to go according, to plan. No matter how will you plan operate, so, I think people's. Expectations. Yourself, your, team's your, stakeholders. Have, to recognize. That, you are ready for these setbacks you are ready for changes. In the timeline, and that in fact you are going to use that, productively. And what, I have found is, that when things are going well it's. Easy. It's, during, these difficult, challenging. Times that, you can really define, the culture, of, the, organization. You, can define, what. Your brand, is as a leader, and, you, could use the time to. Point fingers or, you, could turn use the time to assess, what's. Not working how. Do you recalibrate. What. Else do you need to do to make it successful, those. Are the times when you create, ons with staff, and, when team members that. Make all the difference in, the world so, it's. Very important, to recognize this, is a marathon it's, not a sprint and. As a result, you got to take those times when you slow down and, get back on the track and. I think another point you made earlier is flexibility. Very. Important, as you're looking at all these issues. From. The American cultural center in Algeria. We they would like to ask we'd. Like to know if the panelists, think that everyone, has the potential to become an entrepreneur. Susan. You. Know if you define, it in very narrow terms, that's, true. Perhaps but. If you really look, at the, challenges. And the rigor and the commitment, and the passion and, the knowledge that's, necessary, to. Become an effective entrepreneur. I'm not sure it is everyone. But. That. Doesn't, mean that not everyone, can't play a role in, an entrepreneurial. And, you, know activity. So. Support. The people, who know how to launch a business be. On a board. Volunteer. For these organizations. I think, the whole idea of that entrepreneurship. Is that you can't, do it alone, and if, you want to be part of something as exciting, as, an, entrepreneurial. Activity. Then, find, out where you fit and play. That role and help, the people that are really leading. Excellent. A. Question. From our US consulate in Mumbai and rahama. This is right up your lane how. Can you grow your personal brand and business using, social media oh that's, a great question in. Terms of personal. Brand and leveraging. Social media to grow it one, of the most important things is being authentic, and being, willing to share your story and I, think that that is something I've used not, only for. Me but also for for, Shailene telling. The stories of the women that we work with and I think that that's how people really connect in social media is.
To, Be real and honest I shared my, entrepreneurship. Was and, some of the challenges, I've had and I find that normally when I post, an and I'm honest, about the journey that's, where people connect, and they're like oh yeah this happened to me as well or so, I think it's really important, to be, authentic, and be willing to share your story and then, it depends, also on the platform, that you're using so, Instagram. For example is very visual, so, you want to make sure that when you're posting on Instagram you're. Using really high quality photos. As you. A compliment, to the storytelling that you're making. Excellent. And, another. Question. Susan. I'll turn to you for this how do you build a strong and diverse, team I think that rahama had a few comments earlier but perhaps if you can add some thoughts. What. An important, question. To say that there are some very specific things, that you can and should do I think number, one, is, to. Define. Diverse. From. All angles, it's, not just diversity and, gender or. Ethnic. Background it's. A, diversification. In thinking. And experience. And being. Able to move. Very, specifically. Towards. Creating, a leadership, team for example, where, together, you're, so much stronger, than you are individually. So, look at what your needs are, identifying. People who, can fill, those needs but. Bring, with them true. Diversity, of thought, and. Then. Incentivize. Those, people, not just from a financial perspective but. From of creating, a culture, in which it's clear, that people need to use their voice it's, okay, to, have. Disagreements. It's okay, to. Work together to, find a new and different solution. That, pulls together, individuals. Thinking, right, so it's it's not just bringing, the right people around the table but then creating. An environment, and a culture, in which people can, really challenge each other and of course a positive and professional. And respectful way but. Who can use the diversity, to. Come up with the best possible approach. Solution. And thinking. Thank. You we. Have a question. From the Rosa Parks Americans, sent Center, in Corner, sorry in Burundi what. Are the biggest mistakes while, running a company, that you would vies startups, to avoid. I, think one, of the biggest mistakes is not paying attention I think, sometimes we get so focused on the big vision that, we forget there are so many different, steps to achieving that vision and, we, might not be paying attention to what's happening paying. Attention to what's happening in the marketplace paying, attention to what's happening on your team paying. Attention to what's happening with other stakeholders, and, partners, that you're working, with and that's. Where we. Run up against some pitfalls and. Some of the things that I started, doing because I wouldn't. Pay attention because sometimes there's, just so much work there's not enough time and you're, kind of just go, go go I've, make. I've make, made, it a priority to, take time to review to. Take time to look at the strategy that we poured over and developed, over you, know X amount of hours well how are we meeting, our goals against the strategy, and sometimes. People do it on a quarterly basis, by annual basis, I'm taking time to look at it on a monthly basis, and so it's really paying attention paying. Attention to what. You set your yourself. To accomplish, and ensuring, that you are working, towards that. We. Have another question from Rosa Parks library in Soweto, the. Question is how, can you succeed in business without, the business training. Susan. Well. So. I think there are certain, areas where, obviously you, need business training, you. Individually. Don't, necessarily. Have to have that great if you, believe, as certainly I do that, the most effective, firms are run by, really. Well. Integrated. Leadership. Teams that. Complement, each other you. Don't have to have the details of, every, particular, area. You don't have to be the accountant, you don't have to be the IT specialist. You don't have to be the comms expert, but you need to make sure you have people on the. Team that can, provide that the, other thing I'll say is, be honest, with yourself and, understand. What's. Common-sense, what's. Good judgment, versus. What is specific. Enough where. You need to, get, outside help, you, don't want to, look at legal or contractual issues. Or some, financial. Issues if you don't know what you're looking at if you're not asking the right questions. But again team. Members. Advisers. Boards. Networks, members. Associations. There's, so many assets and resources out, there that, can help you fill the gap rahama. Is nodding, so I assume you agree yeah I do agree and I also think that there are a.
Specific. Skill set there are not the technical, know-how that susan, has so rightly talked. About some. Of the things that, entrepreneurs. And business owners need to deal with is like how, do you handle, rejection. How do you handle things when they're not going your way how. Do you handle failure or perceived, failure, how, do you deal with those things and I think that if you have the ability, the fortitude the persistence, and the patience, to kind of go through the ups and downs of what it means to be an entrepreneur and a, business owner, anyone. Can be successful at it but I think we often don't talk about kind of the the, emotional. Some. Of the psychological, impacts, of being a business owner and how you have to develop some, fortitude, and resilience, and I, think that in addition to some of the hard, core technical skills of accounting, legal all of those things you also need to have a certain ability. To, to, be able to deal with those issues in, order, to be successful things. Won't, work out the way you think they will sort, of the tough skin that you talk to exactly. Our. US consulate mabye ass what. Is a good strategy to approach a sponsor, if you want to enter an international. Market. Susan. Can I start, with you. Sure. I, think. Again. You, want, to be able to start the conversation. By, showing, that you've done some homework right, you, want to be able to show that you've done the research you've done the analysis, you've put in time so. It, was as rahama, said before you're not saying tell, me what to do here right what. You're trying to do is focus on a particular question. Identify, what. Your proposition, is where. You believe you want to go. Why, you believe, you want to go there what, you've done and, then get very good feedback ask. Them, to. Give them to, give you the review but. Then honest, them also to, to round out your perspectives. What, else am, I not seeing that I need to know who, else should I be speaking, with have. You seen other companies who have failed can you share some, of those lessons learned what NIC and again, it's, recognizing. That, you can't fall in love with a business assumption, sometimes. What you want to do is not going to make sense and then, the most successful.
Entrepreneurs And. Business leaders know. How. To pivot and move, in a different direction. Excellent. Thank you the. American Center in Ron Rovia asks what, are the steps you take in starting a business without, a lot of resources yeah, that was exactly, how I started, in. My early 20s I always say I had no business starting, a business, because. I wasn't formally educated I. Didn't know anything about starting a business and so, the first step without a lot of resources if, you have access, to the, Internet and have. Access to a search engine tools that's. A resource that you, can start with and I actually built, my business on Google me any. Question, I had I would literally put the question into Google and start reading and researching, and then I would reach out to people and so, you have to imagine I had to go through the entire process of learning how to work. With chemists, learning how to work with ingredient. Suppliers learning. How to work with designers, and, packaging. Experts, and so all of that I started. Learning by, just doing online research, so I would say that's the first thing when you don't have a huge budget cuz I didn't have a huge budget, and. You know I had just returned from volunteering. And so I hadn't been working and so. That's where you start the second way is and, we've touched upon this is networking, putting yourself out there and, so I would talk to anyone, who would give me any, time of day about. This idea I had and about my experience, as a Peace Corps volunteer and I. Go to a pretty socially, active church, here in the DC area and church. Members just started calling me shea butter because that's the only thing I would talk about and. I, think that's another resource it's just to share your idea with other people and then from there you start getting introductions, and from there you start getting access to resources and then, there are host of free free. Resources, within. Your community. Within your countries, I mean the, American Embassy is a great place to start thank, you yeah it. Really is and start, looking at free free, resources, that you can take advantage of i leverage resources, with the ESPE the Small Business Administration. They. Have a program called score, where, they connect, entrepreneurs small business owners to retired. Executives, and so really there are actually, a host of a lot of free resources that you can start with and, honestly. For the international, audience that's tuning, in start, with the the embassy and start, with some of the programs in your country that's really supporting, entrepreneurship, I mean we just came from India, where the the government, is really, making some serious, investments, in entrepreneurship, reach, out to your local representatives. And say hey I, participated. In this on you, know summit I'm really. Interested or I've heard about this summit what, are some of the resources that you have for entrepreneurs, in, in my country mm-hmm, and actually, if I can also ask you I think this is sort of related our American, coroner West, Oriole library asks a strategy. For developing, a loyal, customer base what, was your experience so. For me and Susan, talked about this too which is you really have to understand. Who. Your customer, is and what. You're bringing to market I actually consider, myself being. Part of a very saturated market, everyone, has a Shay product what makes me different and so really identifying, two key areas, of different, points of differentiation and, really, zoning in on those key, areas and making sure I'm adding value with my customer, and then, customer, service you, have to be able to deliver your product, in a way that's, providing.
Excellent, Service and so, you know people, can remember. Yeah people remember people definitely, and, this. Also touches upon the question about getting into an international, market don't, even consider an international, market if you don't know who your customer is who. Is your customer is your customer the distributor, is your customer, the retailer, is your customer, direct-to-consumer. Answer. That question, first before, you even try to approach a market. Excellent. Great questions, great answers, and. Now I want to read off a few of the responses to the question I asked earlier in the program I asked, you our viewers. What does inclusion, and diversity and business mean to you the. Viewing group at US Embassy Monrovia, in, Liberia. Abroad a lot of words to describe entrepreneurship. Brave. Trustworthy. Innovative. Purposeful, focused. Successful. Passionate, I like that promising. Knowledgeable. Determined, builder. Self marketing and, enduring, well it's a good one in the short time we have left, rahama, and susan do you have anything to add to those responses. Susan. Do you want to start, sure. I think so many of them were captured in that you, know I think, fundamentally. Right. An, entrepreneur. Does have to be resilient the. Entrepreneur, has to be committed, the, entrepreneur. Has to trust his or her instincts. Right but. Also the, entrepreneur. Wants to have an impact, whether. That is on a community, a market. Third family, right. An. Entrepreneur. Wants. To leave a legacy they. Want to create something, they want to do something, and I think that, passion. That vision. And that ability to translate. It into something sustainable, and, adoring, that's. The profile, that's the sweet spot of an, entrepreneur, and that's what I think makes entrepreneurs. So. Exciting. To deal with so exciting, to engage with but, it's also why as rahama. Said you, also have to be prepared for those down. Moments. But that's where the resiliency. In the fortitude, I'm, really. Come together, and. Rahama yeah, I I mean I think everyone, has said exactly what I would have said and I really, resonate, with the passion piece because. If you don't have passion for what you're doing, during those hard times it's very easy to give up and so. You know having, passion, around your business idea is, the. Fuel of the, energy, that you're going to get to withstand those hard times and I also think to the you, know it's exciting to be an entrepreneur and, have, fun with it you, know sometimes, I think we get lost in kind of the challenges, and the issues which are very real but, have fun with it to me and entrepreneur, as an artist you, know you are. You know you're creating something. That people, yet, haven't, seen it but it's in your head it's in your mind and so, to go, through that creation, just just have fun with it you, know it's for, me this is the rest of my life it's not a stopping, point whether, I continue. With, Shailene, forever, I. Will always be an entrepreneur, I will always want to work with entrepreneurs I will always want to help entrepreneurs so, just have fun with it you'll always be passionate. Let's. Now go back to our viewing group in India Chennai, do you have one last question for. Susan or rahama. Jenai. I'd. Like to know how do you optimize your human capital in the initial days of business.
Rahama. I think you heard the question how to optimize, your human capital yeah. For. Me it's. Kind of what I taught touched upon before which is telling. Everyone about Jo lean in terms of being. Open about the the, idea I had the vision I have and, the. More people you talk to the, closer you'll get to finding someone who can help you get to the next level in your business excellent. And Susan, anything, to add, yeah. I would, just ask that you know make. Again. Create, that culture where, your human capital your, your people are, part of the solution right, and get, encourage, them and power to take ownership it's. Amazing. What a team. Can accomplish if. They do feel, like they are supposed, to lean forward, and. Move out and. So fast, the force multiplier. Is great, people, and allowing, them to do what they do best. Excellent. Tonigh thanks, for that great question it. Looks like we're almost out of time, thank, you to our panelists. Rahama Wright and sue Susan. Chad acquits for coming to our studio to talk about their experiences, at Global, Entrepreneurship, summit and giving. Viewers a chance to ask questions. Thank. You as well to our chat space experts, Kervin, Leatham Leticia Gasca, and kadambari. Satish. Who were on Facebook this whole time helping, answer your viewer questions, as well and a. Special thanks to our viewing group Chennai. For your participation, and a, big thank you to all of our online viewers including, those, watching, with viewing groups around the world at. Embassy Monrovia, Liberia American. Coroner Azmaria TRAI American. Center Moscow Russia, American. Center West storia in South Africa, American. Center Man Guang in South Africa, Rosa. Parks library, in sawada in South Africa, American. Cultural center Algiers, Algeria and the, US consulate Mumbai India, thanks. To you all and to continue. The conversation, please. Follow us on Facebook, and Twitter at econo at state and at State DRL, and for. More great resources go. To gist network.org. This. Is the US Department. Of State's global, entrepreneur, s re global innovation. Through science and, technology initiative. Or gist, which. Empowers, young innovators, through networking, skills. Building, mentoring. And access to financing. To, develop startup solutions, that address economic. And development, development, challenges, and if, you're looking for even more useful resources. You, can also visit the GES, 20-17, org site for, the summit simply, click on, GG. As 2017, resources. The drop-down, and select, entrepreneurship. Resources. And again. Thanks. For joining us and enjoy, the rest of your day.