SMB Growth Through Global Trade and Platforms

By at 16 December, 2021, 3:54 pm

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan (right) joined a panel discussion on December 1 with Steve Clemons, editor-at-large at The Hill (left), and Frank Lavin, CEO of Export Now (center), to discuss global market access via  platforms for small businesses, and the big opportunity to reach Chinese consumers.

(Excerpt from the Alibaba Insights newsletter)

At a recent event in Washington, DC, industry experts held a panel on the growing opportunities for U.S. businesses in China as they look to recover from the pandemic. ‍Steve Clemons, The Hill’s editor-at-large, moderated the panel, and was joined by Frank Lavin, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade and Karren Kerrigan, President & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Lavin currently serves as the founder of CEO of Export Now and frequently works with U.S. businesses trying to grow their sales in China. “I would do whatever I could to encourage U.S. businesses to compete in that market,” said Lavin. “Because of the size of the China market and the ease of e-commerce, the opportunities are tremendous.”

In Lavin’s new book “The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce,” he notes that digitization and platforms like Alibaba have broken down many traditional barriers for U.S. businesses and reduced the costs of companies to enter China and grow their brands there.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, emphasized how technology opened up new markets for U.S. small businesses. “When we talk about the data and the numbers of consumers online in China, it’s very compelling,” said Kerrigan. “This full transformation of all things digital has made a difference.” She added, “Small businesses will be looking outside the U.S. because that’s where the customers are.”

Alibaba held its 13th annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival on November 11. The event – “Singles’ Day” – is the world’s largest shopping event, enabling businesses from around the world to reach over 900 million Chinese consumers. More than 290,000 brands participated, including thousands of U.S. businesses, big and small. American companies rang up $6.4 billion in sales.


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