Archive for February, 2015

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Xiaohong He, Professor of International Business, has been hard at work studying  entrepreneurial efforts in China. According to Dr. He, “The re-emergence at the grass-root level of entrepreneurial development in villages and towns across China has been the driving force for the state’s economic miracle.”  She notes, that “as of March 2013, there are over 13 million domestic firms in China, 11 million of which were private business, amounting to 80% of total economic output. Alongside these numbers are over 40 million individual household businesses (getihu) and 700 thousand farmers’ co-operatives.”

Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of small and medium size businesses (SMEs) in China are private-owned and contribute to 50% of Beijing’s tax revenue, 60% of GDP, 68% of exports, 80% of employment, 65% of patents, 75+% of technological innovations, and 80+% of new product development.

Given this impressive contribution, there are both opportunities and yet also challenges. For the past 30 years, the majority of these start-ups, especially at  the village and town level, obtained their financing through an underground banking system with extremely high interest rates.  As Dr. He notes, “the financing cost is twice that for larger business firms and has inhibited the growth of SMEs in China. However, the large scale of contribution and entrepreneurial energy brought by this private sector has attracted a lot of attention from government policy makers.” According to Dr. He, “given its increased economic importance, this private sector is too big to ignore and there exists enormous economic potential in the underdeveloped, western region of China.”  Both QU’s International Business major and its Entrepreneurship and Strategy major offer courses in studying international business trends, and the Office of Global Education at QU works in conjunction to support not only the research interests of instructors but the study excursion interests of students, as well.



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uncertaintiesRecently, Dr. Devanthan Sudharshan, who currently holds James and Diane Stuckert BS/MBA Endowed Chair and is a Professor at the Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, presented his research at QU. Dr. Sudharshan was invited to present his research at the School of Business lunch series, which promotes and fosters the exchange of ideas within and across fields of discipline.  From 2003-2011, Dr. Sudharshan  served as Dean, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky. Prior to his positions at the University of Kentucky he was a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also has held the post of Associate Dean, Planning at Illinois. Dr. Sudharshan’s research interests are in the areas of marketing strategy, new good and service development, and marketing technology management; in specific, he is now exploring questions on phase transitions in business related domains.

Dr Sudharshan has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, The Journal of Market Focused Management and Review of Marketing Science. His articles have appeared in various journals including Journal of Service Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Journal of Marketing, European Journal of Operation Research, Journal of Marketing Research and Strategic Management Journal. Several of his papers published in refereed journals have won awards. He has edited/authored several books on marketing related topics.

Dr Sudharshan has considerable international executive teaching experience in countries such as Poland, Kenya, China, Greece and Austria and has presented seminars in Belgium, Germany, Holland, India, Italy, U.K., Slovakia, and Taiwan. Quinnipiac welcomed the innovative ideas that he brought to the table.

Dr. Anthony Asare, Associate Professor of Marketing in QU’s School of Business, stated, “We were really honored to have someone with such a distinguished career present his research here.  The event was well attended and his ideas were very insightful and thought provoking.”




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Late January, members of the Quinnipiac Microloan Committee met to hear underwriting results and loan recommendations from the 14 business students that recently returned from Nicaragua.  10 undergraduate and four graduate students from the School of Business spent ten days over winter recess in León, Nicaragua as part of an experiential learning course on the global economy.  Dean of the School of Business Matthew O’Conner joined students on the trip, as well as Associate Professor Charles Brooks and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer Diane Ariza.  Charles Brooks, who has traveled with students to Nicaragua in the past, notes that in Nicaragua, “Students work as consultants with small business start-ups and there is a collaboration between both.”

Working in teams of two, students conducted in-depth interviews with one or two small business owners in the process of starting or expanding their businesses. With the help of translators from partner organization Alianza Americana, the students were able to develop comprehensive business plans and recommendations for the microloans requested by their clients.

“It was such a great experience,” said Stephanie Simone, an economics major and member of the 3+1 BS/MBA program. “It was enlightening to see how eager the business owners were to learn, and their determination to make their businesses the best they could be. Experiencing a different work culture was an aspect of the trip that I really appreciated.”

While working in León, students stayed with host families in the nearby community of La Villa. Immersed in an entirely new culture and language, students gained insights about life in Nicaragua that far surpassed expectation.

 “Being able to see depth of this culture and how people are essentially the same in Nicaragua is a great comfort and an eye-opening bit of knowledge,” shared Colby Putnam, another member of the 3+1 program. “Because of this trip, I feel less likely to delineate between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ viewing humanity more as a whole now than ever before.”

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the University’s partnership with Alianza Americana. For the last decade, Alianza has collaborated with the University to offer students from all backgrounds with unique opportunities to apply their knowledge and skill sets in special projects in Nicaragua.


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