Where to Begin with Starting an OWIT Chapter
Consider the following questions:
To determine if a group or potential chapter is ready to incorporate and become an OWIT chapter, the OWIT VP Chapter Development considers several questions and criteria. The primary purpose is to help OWIT to determine when the group is ready to function as a self-sustaining entity. We recommend that your group spend some time answering the following questions to help determine if you are ready to start an OWIT Chapter:
- Why do you want to start a chapter?
- How will your community benefit from your chapter?
- Are the majority of group members already involved in international trade/international business?
- Does the group have affiliation with a government or trade organization that can offer assistance or can support the start of a chapter in various ways? Such support can include:
- Financial support for start-up costs associated with launching an OWIT chapter in your country as a new organization.
- Donation of in-kind assistance associated with launching an OWIT chapter in your country as a new organization. This may include printing of literature, provision of meeting space, provision of support staff, legal assistance to help with incorporating and setting up the chapter.
- Does the group have a sufficient number of committed persons (we suggest a minimum of five) willing to do the work required to start an organization?
- How many of the group’s members (we suggest a minimum of three) will be willing to act as board members? OWIT International will require complete contact information for all board members.
Schedule a conference call with the OWIT VP, Chapter Development
OWIT International has a dedicated Vice President of Chapter Development who supports the development of new chapters, including ensuring their long-term sustainability. We recommend that you send an email to schedule a conference call between the VP and the potential chapter’s President and board members. During that discussion, the following questions will be discussed:
- What are the plans to market and grow the organization?
- How does the organization plan to raise funds to sustain itself and to grow? (OWIT Chapters charge a membership fee that is determined locally.)
- What is the anticipated time frame for establishing the new chapter?
- Will the chapter have adequate funds to pay the OWIT application fees (which also serve as the first year’s OWIT chapter dues) and the chapter’s dues to OWIT for the subsequent year.
Review available information about existing OWIT Chapters
Information about existing OWIT Chapters can provide a valuable resource about your potential chapter’s operations and programs. We recommend that you spend some time on the OWIT International website reviewing the information available from the other chapters.
Finally, note that OWIT International takes care to not associate with potential persons or groups that could be detrimental to OWIT as an organization.
The OWIT VP, Chapter Development uses all available resources to check the validity of potential chapters.