Women entrepreneurs program highlights speakers who lead
(From left to right) Professor Peggy Chaudry of Villanova and Professor Jim Portwood of The Fox School discuss leadership in a global marketplace with twins Lynn M. Brooks and Donna L. Brooks.
“People should be led by your enthusiasm,” Donna Brooks said, explaining what she sees as one of the key tenets of entrepreneurship.
Donna and her twin sister, Lynn, both experts in international sales and marketing, spoke to area entrepreneurs, government trade representatives, and Fox School faculty and students on Feb. 16 as part of Temple’s Developing Women Entrepreneurs for the Global Marketplace project.
Their talk, “Developing a Leadership Style for Today’s Global Organization,” instructed students and entrepreneurs on how to be successful, grow their businesses and attract global clients.
The Developing Women Entrepreneurs project aims to connect women entrepreneurs with resources such as national women’s business organizations, government trade organizations and research on women in international business and entrepreneurship.
Past speakers have included Joanna Savvides, president of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia; and Suzanne Sears, president of Global Do-It-Yourself (a division of Kimberly Clark), who speaks on cross-cultural communications, marketing your products overseas, and developing an international business strategy.
“Over the past three years of the Developing Women Entrepreneurs project, we have established a network of experienced women in international business from diverse areas of business and industry,” said Melynda Benlemlih, director of Temple’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which sponsored the event. “We hope to have three to four events in this year’s speaker series, which will provide more opportunity for attendees to build relationships.”
As part of their talk, the Brooks twins explained how important relationships are for successful entrepreneurship.
“To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to see the big picture, meet people and create meaningful relationships,” Donna Brooks said.
Lynn Brooks went on to explore some of the challenges specific to global entrepreneurship.
“There is a shrinking talent pool of people with a global perspective,” she said. “The next generation of entrepreneur should be innovative and able to think differently; they should be responsive and flexible. Most importantly, they should understand culture and the importance of incorporating a global perspective into their business.”
Other advice the Brooks sisters brought to Fox School students and recent alumni was to be aware of what values and contributions they can bring to an organization. They suggested that graduates should be nimble and able to “turn on a dime.”
They also described how their research shows that larger multinational organizations often initiate entrepreneurial ventures and need employees with entrepreneurial skills to change with today’s fast-paced market demands.
Tina Haydu, a 1981 graduate of the Fox School (international business), said, “Students need to have a more open mindset about the importance of language in schools and they need the ability to have a taste of what is out there and how they can become more involved in the liberal arts. This can open up many wonderful opportunities for both students and graduates.”
More information about the Developing Women Entrepreneurs project is available at http://sbm.temple.edu/dwe2005.
- By Christine Bain