Mutual Inspirations Festival 2023 - Eliška Junková

Home » Home Page » Women in Business with Markéta Šebelová
Women in Business with Markéta Šebelová

Women in Business with Markéta Šebelová

The Embassy of the Czech Republic hosted an online talk as part of its series Women in Business with Markéta Šebelová, Deputy Director, CzechTrade Chicago, on November 28, 2023. Markéta Šebelová spoke about CzechTrade, which promotes business and trade between the Czech Republic and the United States, and offered her perspective on doing business on both markets.

Markéta Šebelová, as the Deputy Director of CzechTrade Chicago, spoke about the agency, established by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic over 25 years ago. Located in more than 54 foreign offices around the globe, CzechTrade is a business and trade promotion agency of the government of the Czech Republic, further developing international trade and cooperation between the Czech Republic and foreign business entities.

One of its key goals is to assist small and medium-sized Czech companies in going global and to succeed on foreign markets by offering complex services across various industries. However, CzechTrade also helps foreign companies enter the market in the Czech Republic. Hence, if an American company would like to find a business partner in Czechia, CzechTrade is ready to assist in such a venture. For example, via sourcing days, CzechTrade sets up meetings and even factory tours for American companies doing business in the Czech Republic. These services are free of charge.

In regards to the US market, Markéta Šebelová highlighted the different services the agency provides to Czech companies at all levels of readiness to enter the market. For beginners, the agency offers seminars and workshops about the opportunities and challenges of the American market. For more experienced companies, the agency assists with providing information in regards to rules, regulations, and licensing. Once a Czech company is ready to enter the US market, the agency focuses on business development such as searching for potential business partners. CzechTrade also establishes trade show presence and organizes missions for Czech companies to the United States.

The Chicago office also offers a business incubator for Czech companies. Via the incubator, the companies are provided with office space for three to six months to allow for the opportunity to find business partners or open a new branch in the US. Moreover, the agency offers seventy hours of its services to help find potential business partners, attorneys, and accounting firms.  This is a remarkable service as it allows Czech companies to save some of the upfront cost when entering the US market and guides them in the right direction.

Markéta Šebelová pointed out that CzechTrade’s office was established in Chicago over 15 years ago, believing that the location was chosen based on the similarities of the industries in that area being comparable to those in the Czech Republic. In addition, Chicago remains a strategically located business hub in the Midwest with historic ties to the Czech Republic. However, the Deputy Director strongly emphasized that CzechTrade serves the entire United States, not just the Chicago area.

In fact, with the constant and rising demand for CzechTrade’s services on the American market, the agency also opened a new office in Austin, Texas, in the spring of 2023. The area offers exciting opportunities for companies, especially in the technology sector. Moreover, CzechTrade shares offices in New York and San Francisco with its sister agency, CzechInvest, the promotional agency of the Czech government for investment and business development.

Furthermore, Markéta Šebelová spoke about working with companies from all industries. The Chicago office concentrates on advanced manufacturing, construction, and customer goods. The Austin office specializes in aerospace, IT, and software. Recently, CzechTrade assists many Czech companies seeking to sell their products on Amazon. Finally, she talked about several success stories of Czech companies doing business in America.

Next, albeit the Czech Republic and the United States both being of the Western civilization, the deputy director stressed that there are business and cultural differences between the two countries that companies should be aware of when seeking out business partners and these differences should not be underestimated. She indicated that words, such as the word ‘interesting,’ may have different connotations in each culture and humor is also not the same. Each culture also presents their businesses differently, with Americans being the great salesmen with a sales pitch and the Czechs focusing more on the technical aspects and solutions.

Finally, Markéta Šebelová shared her experience as a businesswoman advising other female entrepreneurs, emphasizing that one can achieve anything with hard work, confidence, and persistence. She underlined the importance of supporting other women as well as younger generations through mentorship.

If you would like to contact Deputy Director Markéta Šebelová with any questions, please do so at the email: marketa.sebelova@czechtrade.cz.

To learn more about CzechTrade, please click here.

To see the full interview, please click here.


September 2023
October 2023
November 2023

© 2011-2024 Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC