Over the past week, my Envision Global Corporation team was fortunate enough to be pulled into a very special series of events: The Doing Business in Botswana: Information and Access conference, culminating with Tea Time with the Ambassador: A Global Conversation on Women in Leadership. Atlanta, GA was graced with the presence of esteemed government officials including, the Honorable Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Botswana, Her Excellency Dr. Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States; conference host and recently named Honorary Consul General of Botswana in Georgia, Robert Shumake; and trade delegates from Botswana, Africa during two prestigious events in the city. I had the pleasure of intimately engaging with the phenomenal women and amazing leaders. The events were facilitated by a long-time sisterfriend and client, prominent business and social entrepreneur/events chair, Adrienne Lance Lucas, Chairman, Botswana – American Chamber of Commerce. Adrienne is also president and co-founder of the Kid Entrepreneurs Need Opportunities (KENO) Foundation, which seeks to provide unparalleled business and financial literacy training to middle and high school students and become the premier funding source for kid entrepreneurs.
I felt compelled to share my experience, because quite frankly, I’m seldom moved anymore by business as usual; this was quite different. The amazing, eye-opening days were full of purposeful networking, initiating solid business opportunities and philanthropic engagement. It was truly a delight to learn so much about the potential of partnerships within a country that I previously knew very little about. More than 100 business delegates from Botswana who represent more than ten industry sectors including Health, Real Estate, Education, Banking and Finance, Diamond Mining, Transport, Non-Bank Financial Services, Innovation, and Tourism were in attendance at the conference. Representatives at the highest levels of government and private companies including the chief executive officers and managing directors of several private organizations participated. People were smiling, operating in a professionally cordial manner, and truly interested in forging long-term relationships that were mutually beneficial to all parties. The statistics presented about the African country were astounding. I’m always telling people that if you’re not competing on a global level with your products and services, then you’re not competing. Anyone with access to the technological advances in the 21st century should tap into what is offered far beyond their back yard.
Among the many enlightening and inspirational moments (and there were many), I sat at the table with ladies from Botswana for dinner and after I suggested introductions from everyone, one of the ladies turned to me and politely said, “Welcome home.” What a JOY moment! I was almost moved to tears.
My team has certainly accepted the gift of this experience and are in the due diligence process of following up with the new contacts, potential partners and investment opportunities for our global endeavors. There are a vast number of ways to broaden your horizons and reach beyond your usual comfort zone of business and humanitarian efforts. Do your research and find out how you may get out to explore the hidden treasures of the world, or bring them to you. Fast Forward™ into your global NEXT!
For a recap of the conference, please click: Doing Business in Botswana 2012: Atlanta Experiences Great Success with Business Conference and Investment Opportunities
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