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Academy fills entrepreneurial gap


A new Academy has been launched to support the development of entrepreneurship in developing countries.

It brings together the University of Michigan’s (UM) Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial StudiesWilliam Davidson Institute and charitable trust, Aparajitha Foundations.

They are behind the new Michigan Academy for the Development of Entrepreneurs (MADE), which will pioneer programmes that harness UM expertise and local knowledge to support businesses and entrepreneurs in developing countries.

“Whether they’re in Silicon Valley or Africa, entrepreneurs bring the energy and vitality that every economy needs to succeed, and the Zell Lurie Institute is committed to supporting them wherever they may be–but what works for a startup in one part of the world doesn’t necessarily work for others,” said Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute. “At Michigan Ross, we champion the value of learning business through action. Together with Aparajitha and the William Davidson Institute, we want to learn what works for entrepreneurs in different environments based on their experiences, teach what we’ve learned and work with our partner organizations to spread those lessons. We’re looking forward to combining the entrepreneurial know-how of the Zell Lurie Institute with the global business expertise of the William Davidson Institute and the on-the-ground experiences of Aparajitha Foundations to empower local small businesses and economic development around the world.”

Lessons learned via UM startup projects that have been delivered in countries including India and Vietnam will be used – along with insight from organisations working in the area – to nurture local ecosystems capable of delivering real impact.

Bharath Krishna, chairman of Aparajitha, added: “Entrepreneurs not only create value economically but also add to the social fabric of the locality where they have their business. Entrepreneurship that is not just romanticized but done with the understanding of some basic nuances can make a tremendous impact in creating a sustainable ecosystem both locally and nationally. We’re committed to MADE as a true ‘nation-building’ exercise.”

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