MBA Students at Wharton’s Lauder Institute Examine Entrepreneurial Gap in Emerging Markets

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Entrepreneurial Landscapes of Beijing, Bangalore, Santiago and Nairobi Explored in New Report

MBA students at the University of Pennsylvania's Lauder Institute have released a new report, “Far From Silicon Valley: The Entrepreneurial Gap in Emerging Markets,” exploring how different global regions are approaching entrepreneurship and innovation and the factors that contribute to success.

The five students, Melissa Blohm, David Cummins, Vinay Narayan, Dalton Wright and Yinyin Wu are all pursuing joint Wharton MBA/Masters in International Studies degrees through the Lauder Institute, which offers advanced business and cultural studies in nine languages programs that include Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Russian. Lauder’s newest expansion includes a Global Program, designed specifically for multilingual Lauder candidates with interest in deepening their inter-cultural and cross-border knowledge.

The student team, representing the Chinese, Spanish and Hindi tracks at Lauder, explored entrepreneurship in four cities: Beijing, Bangalore, Santiago and Nairobi. They visited each region to interview industry experts, local entrepreneurs, government officials, scholars and investors. Through these interviews and an analysis of data, the team identified six factors that make an important difference in creating ecosystems that drive innovation:

     1. Culture and Community
     2. Government and Regulation
     3. University and Education
     4. Funding and Capital
     5. Incubators and Accelerators
     6. High Impact Entrepreneurs

All four regions explored in the report experienced varying levels of transformation and innovation. The report found that ultimately, ecosystems that offered access to capital, training, large markets, customers, a skilled and educated workforce, and protection for intellectual property were the most successful.

“Creating environments for business to thrive is a cornerstone for emerging economies as they seek to advance their place in the global economy,” says Mauro Guillén, Director of the Lauder Institute and one of the technical advisors on the project. “The case studies and comprehensive analysis offered in this report offer valuable insights and suggestions for areas of improvement in each region.”

The report was released through the Lauder Institute Global Knowledge Lab and can be accessed online at:

About the Lauder Institute:
The University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, founded in 1983, combines a world–renowned Wharton MBA with a Master’s in International Studies, offering advanced business and cultural studies in nine languages programs that include Hindi, Arabic, Chinese , Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Russian. This advanced language and foreign culture training, a two-month in-country immersion program, and a Master’s Thesis from the School of Arts & Sciences all prepare Lauder Fellows for the ever-evolving global economy. This year’s offerings include the new Global Program for students who are already fluent in several languages but have interest in deepening their intercultural and cross-border knowledge. Graduates join the diverse, supportive and committed worldwide Lauder community – continuing a nearly 30-year tradition of international business leadership. The Lauder Institute also offers an MA/JD joint degree. For more information, visit

About the Wharton School:
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

About the School of Arts & Sciences:
The School of Arts & Sciences provides a foundation for the scholarly excellence that has established Penn as one of the world’s leading research universities. The School enrolls 6500 undergraduates, admits approximately 250 students each year into its 32 doctoral programs, and offers a wide range of programs for lifelong learning. International studies are a vibrant enterprise at the School of Arts & Sciences. In addition to offering instruction in 50 languages, the school is home to an array of centers, programs and institutes dedicated to the study of world regions and contemporary global issues and conflicts.

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Allison Bozniak
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