EO Nashville Offers Global Perspective for Local Entrepreneurs


EO Nashville Offers Global Perspective
For Local Entrepreneurs

 Chapter members see new opportunities through worldwide networking.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 13, 2009 – Globalization means the world is getting smaller for giant corporations with vast resources. But if you’re an entrepreneur who owns a small business here in Nashville, there is little opportunity to make that game-changing contact halfway around the globe. Fortunately, local entrepreneurs can have access to a global network of like-minded business owners who understand the unique challenges of putting a new idea into practice.

The Nashville chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO Nashville) is home to 65 members, each the founder, co-founder or majority shareholder of a multimillion-dollar business. Their memberships in EO Nashville provide access to members from every other chapter around the globe, resulting in some unique opportunities for education and growth.

“An EO membership opens a lot of doors around the world,” said Arnie Malham, president of EO Nashville and owner of cj Advertising. “Our members are able to collaborate and support each other in myriad ways that just aren’t available without this network of like-minded individuals.”

Clint Smith, founding partner of Emma®, one of the most popular email marketing and communication services in the world, took advantage of EO’s global reach last year.

“When we were pursuing a potential international partnership about a year ago, I posted our plan to the global EO network,” he said. “Within a couple of days I got responses from folks in South Africa, the U.S., Canada and Europe willing to share their experiences and advice. I also received a couple of phone calls that really clarified a few things, and ultimately I felt a bit smarter going into the partnership talks.”

Joe Freedman is a founder and partner with Music City Tents & Events as well as chairman of American Legal Search, LLC – one of the fastest growing legal search firms in the country. He said that EO’s global network has helped both of his companies.

“Through EO, I’ve made life-long contacts in Shanghai, China,” said Freedman. “We are able to buy products direct from Chinese manufacturers for Music City Tents.  Also, while attending a leadership conference in Dubai I met with several American Legal Search clients.  I would never have had met face-to-face with these clients if it were not for EO”

It is gatherings such as last year’s Global Leadership Conference in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, that give EO members some perspective on how entrepreneurs from other parts of the world approach the challenges of running a successful business. Cullen Douglass of Douglass Financial Services LLC, attended last year’s conference where he was able to interact with several EO members from different parts of the world in a series of exercises.

“In one exercise our goal was to design, engineer and build pieces of a bridge that had to fit together with everyone else’s,” Douglass recalled. “We had specific directions about our piece of the bridge puzzle and the importance of meeting the specifications so as not to wreck the entire bridge. Our team consisted of Jim Harris, then president of EO Nashville, two people from New Zealand, two from India and myself. It was interesting to see how people from different regions of the world process information, make decisions, take risks, and collaborate differently. We were all entrepreneurs who believed in capitalism, but the cultural differences made working together challenging. It was a true learning experience.”

EO Nashville’s membership consists of 65 entrepreneurs with companies representing annual sales of $235 million and 1,778 employees. To join, an entrepreneur must be younger than 50 years old and be founder, co-founder or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.

For more information about EO Nashville, contact Sameera Lowe, executive director, at (615) 309-1755.

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