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Global Trade

Get the skinny on how you can start an international business in college.

This story appears in the February 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You're aching to start a in college-and you'realready thinking global. If you want a company with aninternational presence, listen to the experts: It's going totake serious research and planning. "No two nations orinternational market opportunities are the same," says SherryHoskinson, associate director of the Karl Eller Center/ McGuireEntrepreneurship Program at the of Arizona in Tucson.She notes that students starting international businesses face thetypical startup challenges as well as issues concerning taxes,trade law, currency conversion, language translation and culturalunderstanding (just to name a few).

Lin Miao and Blake Liguori are familiar with those challenges.Miao and Liguori, both 19-year-old sophomores at inBabson Park, Massachusetts, decided to go global when theyofficially launched, an online emporium of posters thatsell for about $7, in July 2005. They then opened an eBay Store foradded exposure. While the low-cost décor to theirfellow U.S. dormitory dwellers, they wanted to sell to young peoplein the as well. "[We thought], If this works sowell in the U.S., why can't we do this internationally?"says Miao. In fact, eBay users often asked the pair if they wouldship internationally to places like Canada, the and otherEuropean countries.

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