Girls on top: Women- led SME’s taking on the world – #1
International Women's Day might be over, but I figure that any time is a good time to write about women kicking goals in the business world.
My team and I are currently launching the International Business Accelerator, a structured end-to-end teaching and coaching program to help micro-to-medium sized companies build anD implement winning strategies for launching their business internationally.
As part of this initiative, we're showcasing a range of small businesses that have already made the transition from being a local heroes to micro-multinationals. One of the reasons for this is to combat the common perception that international business is "too hard" for small companies or the idea that you need to be highly successful at home before you can think about looking offshore for new clients. We're particularly keen to showcase women who are succeeding in business. So here goes.
Melinda Richards - SuperSprout
Melinda Richards is the co-owner and CEO of SuperSprout, a Queensland-based company that produces high-grade fruit and vegetable powders. Melinda established the company in 2007, but soon realised that even though she had a fantastic product, she was struggling to get traction in Australia's small domestic market, where consumers wanted premium product, but expected to pay less than a premium price for it.
Recognising that consumers overseas were willing to pay a premium for "clean green" Australian food, Melinda began to look for options to sell her brand overseas. In 2010, the company began exporting to its first international market - the UAE and Melinda's hunch was confirmed. UAE consumers had high disposable income and an appetite for high-quality specialty products. SuperSprout's products did extremely well there and it was much less difficult to operate in the UAE than Melinda had expected.
"We found a great distributor who loved our product and made it really easy for us to export SuperSprout stuff there", Melinda says.
Fast forward to 2017 and SuperSprout is expanding its export operations to a number of other international markets including the United States and China.
"These days, if you have a website, you can be a global seller", says Melinda.