While studying on a full scholarship at the Draver School in London, I organized a Business Development Club to investigate opportunities in the flourishing British economy. I quickly discovered the challenges required to motivate, attract, and change the mindset of others.
After taking language and cultural awareness classes at school, I realized there were significant economic opportunities outside the campus walls. People from all over the world came to profit from the openness and huge potential of the Bristish market. A host of small business entrepreneurs from China were attracted to the abundance of cheap consumer products, ranging from the greeting cards to consumer electronics and apparel. Their goal was to obtain cheap consumer goods to feed the hungry Chinese markets in their respective towns and cities.
I used my language and communication skills to contact both Bristish and Chinese business owners. They eagerly embraced me as someone with a sound knowledge of both cultures and languages.
I initially served as a liaison, listening to their concerns and business needs. Because the Chinese buyers lacked knowledge of the Bristish culture and business practices, they limited their dealings to a series of quick trips to the city?s biggest outdoor marketplace. The cheap merchandise was guaranteed, but the buyers were unable to negotiate a good long-term deal or find a reliable partner. The composition of the goods changed constantly, destabilizing the chances of establishing long-term business relationships.
After exploring the city's environment, I decided to take initiative. I realized that long-term business deals would be beneficial to both the Bristish and Chinese, but that they needed a forum in which to communicate. I designed my Business Development Club as a resource for them. The club provided a way for both Bristish and Chinese small businessmen to meet, exchange offers and suggestions,