On June 2, 2022, APSIA sponsored a webinar about how commercial diplomacy can be a key multiplier for minority-owned businesses and why it is critical that more diverse students seek out international roles in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, as part of our 2022 Diversity Forum.

 

Moderated by Fulbright Student Virgil Parker, speakers Amb. Suzan Johnson Cook, Founder and CEO of the Global Black Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Joel Hellman, Dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and Rick Wade, Senior Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, explored the moral and business case for expanding global trade among historically excluded communities as part of the 2022 APSIA Diversity Forum.

 

Panelists agreed that the expansion of economic opportunities must include the public sector, the private sector, and public private partnerships. Speakers shared their own experiences in government and industry, recommending ways to lower barriers and close gaps in knowledge.

 

The ability to drive success for minority owned businesses, Amb. Johnson Cook said, comes with the ability to grow through trade rather than taking on more loans. Mr. Wade reminded listeners that 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States; successful businesses will know how to access and navigate those markets. Dean Hellman explained that demographic trends will only expand the number of consumers in emerging markets. To capitalize on this opportunity, minority businesses owners need to use their lived and learned experiences to reach them.

 

Success in global markets requires global competencies. Business leaders who understand the cultural context of their trading partners are three times more likely to succeed, Mr. Wade shared. Young professionals who want to contribute to economic growth – in their communities and around the world – need that global understanding.

 

Watch the webinar here.