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Evaluate and advance economic development initiatives

Explore how an emerging country can spur entrepreneurship and innovation.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Markets digs deep into the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems in two countries — Colombia and Mexico. The goal is for students to understand the historical, cultural and economic context of these countries in order to understand and evaluate their current strategies to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Course description

It seems that every country and major city in the world is trying to become the next Silicon Valley. New York has coined the phrase "Silicon Alley," Austin has "Silicon Hills" and then globally there is Ireland’s "Silicon Docks" and the "Silicon Wadi" in Israel. Having "Silicon" in the name does not mean a region can recreate the unique history that allowed for the creation of Silicon Valley. So, the question is — how can an emerging country spur entrepreneurship and innovation?

To develop a growth strategy for a business, one should start by understanding the current resources and capabilities of that business. Internal culture as well as external factors such as the economic and political environment must also shape the growth strategy. Are emerging ecosystems applying a similar methodology? Or are they trying to replicate a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem from another part of the world? Our hypothesis is that a deep understanding of the history, culture, political and economic climate and current resources can yield an executable strategy to nurture and accelerate entrepreneurial activity in a country.

During the months in advance of the GIM trip, you will not only learn about the unique context of each country, but you will also learn about various elements that foster successful ecosystems – universities, accelerator/incubators, venture capital, banks, labor laws, intellectual property rights, etc. When you are in country, students will have the opportunity to meet leaders in government and finance as well as interview entrepreneurs, investors, educators, tech hub operators and more. The key challenge for the group will be to synthesize and analyze the findings from all the in-country meetings. Where have strategies been successful and where have they stalled?

It is our hope that this GIM trip gives you greater insight on how to evaluate and advance economic development initiatives in your city and your country in the future.


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Faculty and advisor bios

Faculty bio

Linda Darragh's professional and volunteer experience has focused on enhancing entrepreneurship in Chicago for three decades. Two key areas of interest have been early-stage financing and teaching.

As the Larry Levy executive director of Entrepreneurship at Kellogg, Ms. Darragh oversees one of four strategic initiatives at Kellogg. In this capacity, Darragh has updated and enhanced the curriculum, expanded the faculty, and increased engagement opportunities for students and alumni. Darragh also teaches New Venture Development, which helps launch student businesses, as well as the Growth Strategy Practicum (capstone) course for the Executive MBA program.

As vice president of the Women's Business Development Center, she piloted innovative lending programs that created collaborations with foundations, banks and all levels of government. Ms. Darragh also organized Springboard: Mid-West, a nationally recognized investor forum for women entrepreneurs, in 2001 and 2003. The forums raised more than $85 million for participants. Another outcome of Springboard was the establishment of the Ceres Venture Fund in which she is an investor.

In 1999, Ms. Darragh started as an adjunct professor at Kellogg where she taught "Women and Entrepreneurship" and then "462: Entrepreneurship and New Venture Formation." She later became assistant director of entrepreneurship.

In 2006, Ms. Darragh became the director of entrepreneurial programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ms. Darragh's accomplishments included organizing global alumni entrepreneurship immersion trips to India and China, launching the Global New Venture Challenge, and leading the Exploring Entrepreneurship Series that culminated in annual conferences that highlighted local innovation in the areas of financial trading, education and food. She taught the New Venture Lab and Social Entrepreneurship Lab courses and was also a coach for the New Venture Challenge and the Social Venture Challenge.

Most recently, Ms. Darragh has focused her efforts on early-stage financing in the realm of for-profit social ventures — impact investing. In collaboration with Professor Jamie Jones of Kellogg, they organized an "Impact Investing" conference in 2011 and then launched Impact Engine, an accelerator for for-profit social ventures.

Ms. Darragh is an active member of the Chicago entrepreneurial community. She has been a long-time board member of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center/1871.

In her free time, Ms. Darragh will be on the golf course, tennis or paddle tennis court, skiing or in her garden.

Advisor bio

Kate Hardwick works as a program manager of Executive Education, offering specific plans and pathways for professional growth and functional development for individuals and teams as well as broader strategies for enterprise-wide executive development efforts.

As a program manager, she oversees all operations and logistics for a portfolio of these programs with a special emphasis on global execution including Chicago, NYC, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Dubai, Jakarta and Hong Kong. As an account manager, she also liaises with our global academic partners in arranging various certificate programs on our Evanston, Chicago, and Miami campuses.