Krystal Bonner: NBIC Celebrates Women’s Small Business Month

By Tyler Price

Continuing our celebration of Women’s Small Business Month, Krystal Bonner, lead designer and founder of Phoenix Forrester Events, also an informal mentee of our program, stopped by the NBIC for a little chat about why it’s important to highlight female achievement within the entrepreneurial world.

“It’s great, from a broader perspective, for women to know what other women are doing to start their businesses – to communicate on a larger scale how many women own businesses and are successful,” said Bonner.

Bonner said that having this platform is imperative for up-and-coming women. She believes it is important to witness and admire other people success – especially as a beginning entrepreneur.

One successful entrepreneur who helped encourage and inspire Bonner is our very own Angela Crane-Jones – the director of the NBIC.

“Meeting Angela truly helped me,” Bonner said. “She was and is the owner of several small businesses herself. She understands what that’s like, but also to be a woman in a male-dominated industry.”

“What I love about Angela,” Bonner continued, “is she’s so relatable and down to earth. If I had a question about any of these things, she’d answer me openly and full-heartedly.”

But, the truth is, women need relationships like Bonner and Jones’ not just because of the male-dominated nature of the business world, but also the immense pressure and stress which comes with owning a business.

“Being in small business sounds glamorous and great. But, it is hard work,” Bonner said. “It’s really lonely and can be isolating. And, sometimes, not appreciated very much.”

“So,” Bonner continued, “you need to think long and hard about what industry you are going into. Because you will be giving up your nights and weekends. You need to have passion so you can get back up when you are knocked down.”

However, even though the entrepreneurial world is intense and dog-eat-dog, Bonner is tough and was fully prepared by the NBIC.

“NBIC is very competitive. I like being a woman who is doing things amongst all these men,” Bonner said.

The NBIC also taught Bonner the value of fostering lasting relationships within the business world and how they can come back to benefit later in life.

“What I have learned as a business owner is that relationships are vital – they are the lifeline to your success,” said Bonner. “Every client I have received over the last 8 years, has been a result of word-of-mouth or a recommendation. Because the relationships I have built are strong.”

No one is discounting the fact that men are still incredibly important in the workplace. However, it is imperative for women to empower one another and nurture more relationships – all the while keeping the goal of equality in mind.

More women need to create jobs, said Bonner. The more women we have in the corporate structure, the more women we have making decisions – leading to more women being hired. The more women are hired, the greater opportunities for women to advance become. This is how equality will one day come to be – each and every woman making an impact on the whole of society.

Gender discrimination is intricate and institutionalized – but not unstoppable. Women simply need to focus on gaining more leverage.

So, if you are a woman, please consider becoming an entrepreneur in a field of your passion. It will be hard work and it will be stressful. But, you will feel accomplished and encouraged.

And, you will be creating more jobs for the economy and changing the world for all women.

Happy Women’s Small Business Month from us here at the NBIC.
“Phoenix Forrester Events (PFE) is a boutique-style, event planning and logistics management agency specializing in strategy and creative design. PFE provides custom solutions to companies in multiple industries,” according to their website.

Their mission is “to serve as an extension of our client’s personality by creating and designing events that offer extraordinary experiences, unique to its audience while distinctly representing the culture, lifestyle and long-term goals.”

Adopt-A-Family 2016

To celebrate the giving spirit of the holidays, we here at the NBIC, with help from our friends at the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, have decided to show some love to a local MDHA family. A wonderful family will receive gifts hand wrapped by our very own with love. We admire the determination and tenacity of each family we connect with each year.

The recipient of our Adopt-A Family program is a  mother of five children and full-time (M-F) nursing student accepted into the September 6, 2016 Practical Nursing Program at Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville. This responsible mother is also afforded the opportunity to work part-time at Mary Queen of Angels with the help of a wonderful grandmother. Her strong drive to capture a dream and secure a better life for her children is very evident. Sponsoring and assisting with a hand-up was met without pause for this deserving family.

MDHA Social Service Coordinator, Yvette Moore states, “I have worked very closely with the families supported by NBIC each year and sponsoring them means the world to our organization!”

Happy holidays!

2016 Global Entrepreneurship Week Event Gallery

November 15th, 2016| Newsletters| no comments

Global Entrepreneurship Week was held November 15-17, 2016 in partnership with UPS Connect.

12 Social Networking Sites You Should Know to Help Your Business Reach an International Audience

November 1st, 2016| Entrepreneurs| no comments

Written by: Ashley Northington

Social media provides businesses with an opportunity to reach more people than ever before. Not only can businesses reach local audiences, social networking can also be used to reach a global market. Social media profiles with thoughtful, culturally appropriate content can help increase brand awareness among consumer groups in the country in which you wish to market.

However, global social media marketing goes beyond Facebook and Twitter. In fact some countries, like China, have restricted or banned residents from accessing Facebook and Twitter in favor in their own networks.

There are dozens of social media sites native to countries all over the world. To help you along, we’ve listed 12 social networking sites that may help you reach an international market.

Five Must Haves to Expand Your Business Into a Global Market

Written by Ashley Northington:

Establishing a successful business in your hometown or where you reside is an amazing feat. Expanding that successful business to a national base is even more impressive. Moving into an international marketplace may be even more impressive and exciting.

While the excitement and potential for success may move many entrepreneurs in this direction, it is critical to have certain pieces in place before completing the global expansion puzzle. In order to effectively move your company from domestic to international, there are a few factors you’ll need to consider in order to have a smooth transition.

To that end, here are five must-have pieces you’ll need before expanding your business to a global marketplace.

Customer Base.

Obviously, having customers who want your product or service is critical for any business. When considering expanding your domestic operation into international territory, make sure you conduct your due diligence to ensure there is a demand for your product or service in the country in which you wish to market.

A product that sells well in your hometown many not perform well statewide or nationally. Likewise, a product that sells well nationally may to sell well in another country. Before you make the leap, spend time researching potential foreign markets.

Experts advise small businesses to start moving globally by looking for markets that are similar to the one in which you currently operate. This may lead you to a foreign or international market to sell your wares.

Translation Services.

Once you identify your potential international target, it will be critical to have individuals on your team who are familiar with the culture and language of the country in which you wish to market. From communicating with decision makers to consumers to web sites and other marketing pieces, it will be critical for you to ensure you not only understand any documents put before you, but that you also create documents and information that are aligned with the appropriate culture and language.

To ensure you are communicating successfully, it may be prudent for you to hire a staff member or two who can handle this aspect, or contract with a translation service or global marketing company who can manage this part of the work.

Exporting Services.

If you plan to sell products to another company, it is critical to have an exporting service that can effectively handle your needs. UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company and a provider of supply chain management solutions, would make for an ideal exporting partner.

Getting the packages to your target country is one thing, but making sure your business is compliant with all of the exporting rules and regulations is a different game. It may be wise to spend time researching rules and regulations on in advance of shipping products internationally.

You can learn more about exporting during Global Entrepreneurship Week, held November 15-17, hosted by the Nashville Business Incubation Center. You can also learn more about how UPS can help you export your goods at the UPS Export Challenge held on November 17.

Payment Processing.

Before you begin to do business internationally, you’ll need to ensure your payment processing system is set up to handle international transactions. In some instances, PayPal or Stripe may be sufficient. In other situations, a service provided by your bank or some other third-party payment processor may be necessary. The key is to do the research and select the right one for your business and your new global customers.

Rules & Regulations.

This one is obvious, right? When you begin expanding your territory into foreign markets, there will be new rules and regulations you will have to follow – especially when it comes to fees and exporting requirements. There are several resources, such as and UPS’s TradeAbility that can help you along the way. You may also want to check with international trade attorneys, such as those at Frost, Brown, Todd to be sure you’re meeting all the requirements.


Ashley Northington is a marketing communication professional and entrepreneur. She is the founder and agency director at DENOR Brands & Public Relations. Learn more about Ashley at and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @ashnorthington. Learn more about her company at and follow the company on Twitter and Facebook @DENORPR.