Do you exclude yourself from opportunities because you think they are out of your reach, for one reason or another?
In his bestseller “Roots,” Alex Haley writes about his father Simon Haley’s pre-graduate school stint as a train porter. Keen to both save money for school and provide for his family, Simon performed his porter duties with excellence and passion.
A wealthy passenger was so impressed by a brief conversation with Simon that he secretly arranged to pay his graduate school tuition.
The only catch was that Simon would only learn that he had a benefactor if he actually showed up at school and registered.
With no idea how he would meet all his graduate school expenses, Simon did indeed show up; determined to find a way to pursue his dream.
Simon could have abandoned the whole idea of graduate school because he definitely could not afford to pay his way.
By not turning up at the school, he would have forfeited the funds that a generous individual had made available for his education.
Some of the entrepreneurs that I work with recently received an invitation to the International Trade Centre (ITC) / Rwanda Development Board (RDB) sponsored World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2014.
The Forum will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from September 15 to 17 under the theme: “SMEs: Creating Jobs through Trade.” Policy makers, trade support organisations, international companies and development donors will meet to jointly explore the ways in which they might promote SME growth.
In addition to interacting with the aforementioned policy makers and influencers, the participating business community will take part in networking sessions and meet international business delegations. A Women Vendors’ Exhibition and Forum will showcase the work of women vendors from all over the world. WEDF 2014 will be held right at Uganda’s doorstep and promises to be an interesting event for SMEs.
Although it takes less than 10 minutes to complete the free online registration form, most of the entrepreneurs who have received a registration invitation have not responded. Why? Because like Simon, they do not think they can afford to attend. In the event that some kind of sponsorship funds end up becoming available, unlike Simon, the non-responsive entrepreneurs will not even be considered for sponsorship. Only those individuals - who like Simon actually register - might be considered for possible financial support.
If you are an SME owner, irrespective of whether you received an invitation to register or not, borrow a leaf from Simon Haley. Begin by visiting the ITC website at: http://www.intracen.org/itc/events/wedf/2014/registration/. Learn more about WEDF 2014 and complete the online registration form. Should any support be made available, it will be offered to registered individuals.
Find ways to get yourself considered for the variety of opportunities that come your way. Get your name into the set of names to be considered by registering or by physically being present. “Show up.”