Entrepreneurs who have already done everything in their region can still do a lot in countries where what they specialize in is lacking. Beata Drzazga – a Visionary Entrepreneur who draws joy and energy from helping other people in business and in life, talks about economic missions.
Do economic missions to support the development of a given country or region also serve the entrepreneurs participating in them?
Of course. The last economic mission in which I participated together with other Polish entrepreneurs took place in Puerto Rico. It was organized by two people from Poland, living there permanently, and they invited the Governor and the ministers of economic affairs, who welcomed us with enthusiasm because they know that during such meetings there are chances for the development of their economy. They want investors to come to their region and, by investing capital, help develop those areas that are problematic for various reasons. These are usually regions where every type of activity has great potential – starting from medical issues, through construction and typically economic. In Puerto Rico, it turned out that even the construction of gas stations is a great idea, which will either give jobs to the inhabitants or allow specialists from other countries to be brought in and give them jobs that are sometimes lacking in their own countries In my opinion, these missions create different opportunities and challenges in different regions. I remember a mission I was on in Nevada after the 2008 crisis. For Nevada, topics like water and energy are important. Each region has different needs and different problems. That is why the economic mission is to connect businesses or exchange experiences and development opportunities. They will be able to use technologies proven in other parts of the world, which are scarce in a given region.
What industries are most likely to participate in such missions?
That’s what I said, all those who are interested in development. Such as universities or automotive companies, and even copper mining, etc. The larger a company can come and invest somewhere, the greater the benefit for a given region. Each country has different needs and different problems. On the other hand, such a mission gives opportunities to entrepreneurs who operate in their country and want to operate internationally and have no chance to break through. They go there and carry out their business with mutual benefit.
What would you say to other entrepreneurs who may have some concerns about participating in such missions?
What’s there to be afraid of? Going on such a mission, they can make great contacts, broaden their range of experiences, and even look at their business from a different perspective. It is worth taking part in them, even just to meet other entrepreneurs and exchange knowledge and experience. I advise you not to be afraid because every journey educates you, especially the business one. Such missions are very inspiring and stimulate us to new challenges.
Have you been to Africa recently on an economic mission?
It was more of a charity mission. I went to help the children financially. I visited a school and supported it financially. I met the people who built this school and donated funds for its development. In addition, I talked to the local youth, trying to motivate them to study as a form of fighting for their future. When talking to them, I used my example, explaining that I, too, started from scratch. I tried to inspire local youth to take life into their own hands and show that anyone can succeed if they have passion and self-denial. I wanted to show them that we entrepreneurs work hard all our lives and thanks to that we manage to overcome new challenges.
How to start building your company or a new branch abroad?
It’s best to start by looking around what is missing in a given region. What problems do people have there, what are the challenges faced by institutions. You should also be careful not to be taken advantage of or make the mistake of not knowing local law. It is enough to open your eyes and heart to what is happening in a given region and if there is a deficit of what we have the ability to provide, then you have to try to do it.
How many of these missions have you participated in?
The last 4 years in Nevada, Chile, Peru, Puerto Rico and now Africa, I’m also about to go to Thailand soon and so on. I also support all areas here in our country. I supported the TVN foundation in the construction of a psychiatric hospital for children, and I also help women suffering from cancer individually. I try to save people, help them and it makes me very happy because there are many people in need. I think it’s like that once we start working and helping, it’s hard to stop later. I’m not just helping financially. I try to give my time and inspire people to fight for themselves for their dreams.