Eleanor Beaton: Empowering women worldwide
Thursday, May 12, 2016
All over the world, women executives and entrepreneurs are learning how to position themselves as leaders and experts in their fields. Eleanor Beaton of Windsor, Nova Scotia, is helping them develop their influencing skills so they can attract more clients, grow their businesses, and advance their careers.
Until five years ago, Eleanor ran her business as a consultant, working individually with clients in Nova Scotia and Ontario. At the time, she was doing a lot of consulting with CEOs who were leading fast-growing businesses. She realized that her one-to-one consulting business model was really going to limit her growth, and she asked herself, “How can I change my business model and expand it so that I can help even more people?”
Today, 85% of her clients – and 85% of her total revenues – come from outside Atlantic Canada, including places such as the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, India, and Australia.
Although Eleanor still does one-to-one mentoring, the main revenue engines in her business now are online training programs. She takes cohorts of women from all over the world through her Impact and Influence for Women Leadership Lab. “I’m able to use technology to serve international clients from here,” she says.
To develop her business, Eleanor was investing heavily to travel to conferences and to grow international markets and access international clients. Then, at a Centre for Women in Business networking event, she heard about Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s (NSBI) Export Growth Program.
She applied in 2015 and used the NSBI program to attend conferences in Texas and Arizona. She spoke at a conference and networked with Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies.
“The Export Growth Program helped offset the cost of travelling to those markets, to network, to talk about my business, to get in front of decision-makers at large corporations,” she says. “That has led not only to business but also to ongoing conversations with human resources vice-presidents at fairly large financial institutions in the US.”
Eleanor understands the trials facing entrepreneurs. “The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs can be loneliness,” she says. “There are high moments and triumphs, but behind the scenes there’s so much work to make sure you’ve got the right processes and systems in place and a business model that you can scale. In order for a business to grow, it needs fuel, and that fuel is cash.”
However, accessing funding is not all that matters. “What’s also important is what the NSBI programming signifies,” she says. “It’s that there’s an organization and there are people who are supporting you and who have said, ‘Yes – you are doing something that solves a problem. You have a business here that’s worthy of us investing even more.’ And that’s a great feeling.”
Growing a world-class business from Nova Scotia is possible, Eleanor knows. “But you don’t do that on your own,” she says. “It takes support. I work with a great team of people, but it also takes the support of an organization like NSBI.”
In late March, Eleanor was invited to be one of eight Global Advisors to the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program (VWEEP) at Yale University. “This is related to the export development work I’ve been doing,” she says.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is dedicated to supporting the growth of business in Nova Scotia. Our team of Regional Business Development Advisors is available to assess your needs and provide practical advice on taking your next steps toward growth in global markets.
The Export Growth Program supports businesses looking to increase their export sales outside of Nova Scotia. The program provides financial incentives for projects that assist a business’s ability to overcome barriers to export growth.