Nina Gibbs started Savi Global in 2012. Essentially, Savi Global removes obstacles for U.S. companies wanting to do business abroad and for foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start businesses in the U.S. “We also help businesses needing language services for domestic foreign language markets. We manage most of the structural issues that business people face when crossing borders.”
It all began when a local manufacturer asked for Nina’s help interpreting Spanish during contract negotiations. “I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid I’d be nervous,” Gibbs recalls, “but I connected them with someone who could.” It was then that she realized that she could provide a valuable service connecting businesses with the kind of resources and talent they need to succeed in global trade.
“It’s confusing,” she says. “If you’re a small business thinking about breaking into the global market, you have to think about currency for transactions, how to get paid, how to comply with foreign trade rules, how to deal with cultural differences, how to cross the language barrier. They’ve got enough on their plate with local and regional markets.”
Her goal is to navigate these issues on behalf of regular people who want to benefit from international markets.
Savi Global in Shasta County
When people think about Shasta County, they don’t necessarily think about global trade, but as Nina explains, that’s a misconception. “I work with a mix of local, national, and international clients,” she says. These clients range from “mom and pop” businesses to very large organizations.
Beyond the work done directly by Savi Global, Nina has made it a point to lend her expertise to the community for free in a few different ways.
She does workshops approximately every year aimed at helping foreign entrepreneurs sort through visa options. She brings in speakers with backgrounds in immigration law to explain the system and speak on a number of different topics related to living and working in the U.S. These workshops are free to attend by anyone who feels they could benefit from them.
The next one is tentatively scheduled for next February.
Savi Global also produces a monthly newsletter, free for anyone to subscribe to, full of content aimed at people wanting to succeed in the global marketplace. “I want this information to be available for people in the north state,” says Nina.
Asked whether increasing globalization has led to an increase in demand for her services, Nina responded that she hasn’t seen that happening in her business, but she has noticed an increase in the number of immigrants who were coming to her, trying to start businesses.
The business is going strong, and Nina is very optimistic about the future of her company. “I think we really have something to offer that people need,” she says. “In the next year, I want to focus on joining the NorCal World Trade Center based out of Sacramento and become the preferred provider for business interpretation and translation services. After that, I want to do more business plans for clients in far Northern California, and maybe hire someone to manage that side of the work.”
Asked what she would say to business owners thinking of breaking into non-English language domestic markets or foreign markets, Nina is encouraging. “It can seem daunting,” she explains,”but it doesn’t have to be so hard that a small company can’t take it on. The first thing to do is just to find a source of information and stick with it.”
Nina will be presenting a webinar for the Women’s Business Center at JEDI on November 15 about why, when, and how to do market research.