Universities find that business professors’ knowledge is invaluable to international colleagues seeking routes to economic development, according to the lead Small Business article in the Sept 26-Oct 2, 2011 issue of Crain’s New York Business.
Although the new semester had barely begun this year at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, Director of Entrepreneurship Bruce Bachenheimer already had teaching requests from groups and institutions in India, China, Norway and Israel.
Mr. Bachenheimer returned from India in early September, spoke to a Chinese delegation at Pace immediately afterward and then taught a course on writing a business plan for students visiting from the BI Norwegian Business School. He will travel to Israel in early January.
Colleges and universities abroad, especially those located in developing nations, are increasingly trying to establish the kinds of entrepreneurship programs that exist here in the U.S.
Generations of immigrants may have fueled American entrepreneurialism, but, according to Mr. Bachenheimer, entrepreneurship education on the college level is primarily an American export. And local professors are seeing the demand for their expertise grow beyond the occasional request to teach overseas while they’re on a school break or a sabbatical. Foreign universities are more and more willing to pay a premium for the know-how of professors from entrepreneurship centers such as Silicon Valley, New York City and Cambridge, Mass., the Lubin professor says.
Reflecting the growing international interest in entrepreneurship education, the Bloomington, Ind.-based Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, whose members are university-based, switched to its current name three years ago, notes Mr. Bachenheimer. Founded in 1996 as a national consortium, the organization made the change in response to interest from international institutions.
Although students obviously can’t absorb everything about running a business while in a classroom setting, the fastest way to get started and learn to manage risk is often with the guidance and assistance available through universities and colleges. (Other kinds of structured support can be invaluable as well: Research from the National Business Incubation Association and the U.S. Small Business Administration show that businesses coming out of incubators have a much lower failure rate than that for startups overall, says Mr. Bachenheimer.)