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DRIVING ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEMS

Vincent Onyemah

On August 31, IPADE’s Continuing Education Program invited Full-time MBA (MEDE) and Executive MBA (MEDEX) participants to a special session titled “Driving Economic Growth Through Entrepreneurship Ecosystems- Methods That Work for Rapid Scale Up® of Regional Economies,” featuring invited Professor Vincent Onyemah, who is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Sales at Babson College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he teaches Marketing Management, Business Development, Professional Selling, and Sales Force Management. Prior to Babson, Professor Onyemah taught at Boston University and Lagos Business School. He started two companies and worked in industry before pursuing his academic career. He is spending his sabbatical year at IPADE, teaching in the Marketing Management Department and conducting research.

In front of a full house of MEDE and MEDEX students, Professor Onyemah shared some of the findings of the Babson Entrepreneur Ecosystem Project (BEEP), an action research project to develop the entrepreneurial capacity in defined localities, by bringing together the policies, structures, programs and climate, that foster entrepreneurship.

“The objective is to encourage economic growth through entrepreneur ecosystems,” said Professor Onyemah. “More than 90% of the focus and public resources are focused on creating new companies, but almost nobody is focused on growth…Growth promotes innovation, and vice versa.”

Professor Onyemah called attention to government’s and other ecosystem player’s focus on the ‘quick wins’ and on creating new companies, but highlighted the lack of real support for these companies when they seek to grow. He used two real-life examples, Legal Seafood, from the United States, and other, from Latin America, to illustrate the impact of Scale Up® growth.

A Q&A session followed Professor Onyemah’s presentation. At the conclusion of the session, students were invited to a networking cocktail to close out the evening. This session was the first in the 2016-2017 invited professor lectures offered to the MEDE and MEDEX students.

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