Ever since alumnus Carlos dos Santos earned his Executive MBA from the Zicklin School of Business in 1999, he’s been searching for ways to build relationships between his alma mater and his native country, Mozambique, which since 2016 he has represented as ambassador to the United States and Canada.
Now that collaborative spirit has borne its first fruit: This fall, the business school of Lúrio University in northern Mozambique is offering its faculty and selected students a free, three-week webinar series on entrepreneurship, taught by Zicklin School professors from the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship.
The series opened with a lecture on academic and practical perspectives on entrepreneurship, delivered by Scott Newbert, PhD, academic director of the Field Center and a professor in the Narendra Paul Loomba Department of Management. Subsequent sessions cover brainstorming small business ideas, creating an operational plan, budgeting, negotiation, and other topics.
The ultimate aim is to leverage the Field Center’s experience teaching, coaching, and advising entrepreneurs to encourage entrepreneurship in an underdeveloped region of Mozambique, explains Joseph Onochie, PhD, Zicklin’s executive director for executive education, who was instrumental in building the partnership between the two universities. Onochie, an associate professor of finance who taught Dos Santos while the latter was earning his MBA, has maintained a 20-year-plus friendship with the ambassador.
“Carlos has always been partial to education for his people,” Onochie says. “For years we’ve been discussing ways to build relationships between Zicklin and institutions in Mozambique.” Those discussions finally culminated in the current partnership after Dos Santos spoke to Baruch alumni at a virtual event organized by the Office of Alumni Relations and Volunteer Engagement. The leadership of both institutions — H. Fenwick Huss, Willem Kooyker Dean of the Zicklin School and Sonia Maciel, Vice Rector of Lúrio University — were instrumental in fostering the partnership, Dos Santos adds.
“At Zicklin, I got a great education from a prestigious institution of higher learning,” Dos Santos sums up. “I wanted to share the kind of knowledge I received with the people of my country.”