Startup Global Women: Harnessing the Power of Global Markets for Women-Owned Businesses

by | Mar 25, 2021

On March 18, 2021, the Global Innovation Forum (GIF) and the International Trade Administration (ITA) hosted a Startup Global webinar to share insights and advice from women-led small businesses, technology providers and trade experts to help small businesses go global.

The event was held in support of the Startup Global initiative, a public-private partnership between ITA and GIF to help small and early-stage American businesses discover the tools and resources to participate effectively in the global marketplace. In celebration of Women’s History Month, the session highlighted stories of inspiring women entrepreneurs, advocates of women’s economic empowerment and trade experts to share advice, steps and strategies to enter new markets.

Conversation with Global Women Startups

The opening panel featured lessons learned and best practices from three women entrepreneurs who have launched and grown global businesses. The women are leading Cloud to Street, a New York City-based platform for analyzing flood risk, around the world for the most climate-vulnerable communities, Marjani Beauty, a Washington, DC-based inclusive cosmetics e-commerce boutique, and Webee Corporation, a Mountain View, California-based tech company focused on streamlining knowledge through data automation.

Bessie Schwarz

CEO & Co-Founder
Cloud to Street

Kimberly Smith
Ana Cecilia Flores
Co-Founder & COO
Webee Corporation
Jamaica Gayle
Deputy Director
Global Innovation Forum
Advice and Resources for Going Global

The following panel included speakers from Vital Voices, a global organization that works with women leaders to scale and accelerate their impact, UPS and Mastercard to emphasize the importance of leveraging peer and professional networks and resources to succeed in the global marketplace.

Eugenia Podesta
Senior Director, Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship
Vital Voices
Sahra English
Vice President, Global Public Policy
Maria Luisa Boyce
Vice President, Global Public Affairs
Jake Colvin
Executive Director
Global Innovation Forum
Government Resources for International Growth

The final panel brought together a variety of trade experts from the public sector to share the unique opportunities offered by their organizations. Whether businesses are new to exporting or expanding into new markets, there is government support to help during the process. Representatives from the U.S. Commercial Service, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network and Michigan Economic Development Corporation shared their insights into how to take advantage of the many resources available.

Paula Murphy
Colleen Fisher Simons
Regional Director, Pacific South Network
U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce
Alyssa Tracey
Director, International Trade
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Tricia Van Orden
Deputy Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat
U.S. Department of Commerce

Watch the Full Recording