Babson Entrepreneurs Converge on Miami

For the last several years, the city of Miami has cemented itself as a quickly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The city landed a top 15 spot in Inc. and Startup Genome’s Surge Cities list, as one of the “best places to start a business in the U.S.”

The researchers laud the Florida city for having “a dynamic startup scene with a robust network of accelerators, boot camps, incubators, and co-working spaces—more by percentage than any other city in the nation.”

It comes as no surprise, then, that Miami was home to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s annual meeting and 2019–2020 Global Report Launch during the first week of March. Babson College hosted the event.

Joining the Babson and GEM scholars who traveled from around the world were standout entrepreneurs, leaders, and practitioners who gathered at the South Florida destination to celebrate the latest wave of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Make A Difference

During the meeting, Babson Entrepreneurship Professor Donna Kelley shared the findings of the latest global report, noting that more than 40 percent of entrepreneurs in 35 economies want to use their business to make a difference in the world.

In the U.S. economy, GEM found that the average level of both entrepreneurial activity and established business ownership in the United States has trended upward for the past 19 years.

“The positive attitudes about entrepreneurship that we see in the United States, and in many other parts of world, are an encouraging sign,” said Kelley, GEM board member and the Frederic C. Hamilton Professor of Free Enterprise Studies at Babson.

Kelly’s research for GEM now has a new home at Babson, part of the newly established Butler Institute for Free Enterprise through Entrepreneurship, created with $10 million in funding from the John E. Butler family.  Babson co-founded GEM with the London Business School in 1999.

“Babson is proud to be a founding partner and longtime supporter of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor,” said Babson President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD. “The outcomes of this paramount study impact economic policies, educate students, entrepreneurs and stakeholders worldwide, and influence the research and teaching around entrepreneurship all over the globe.”

Professor Heidi Neck
Professor Heidi Neck

The meeting highlighted the recent GEM report on Women’s Entrepreneurship, issued in November 2019, which highlighted areas where women entrepreneurs have made progress, how ecosystems influence and are influenced by women entrepreneurs, and where there are still gaps, challenges, and opportunities. Presenting were Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership Candida G. Brush, Amanda Elam, co-author, Diana International Research Institute Fellow, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson, and Smith College Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Director Monica Dean.

Celebrating the entrepreneurial outlook for the host city were Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, Knight Foundation Director Raul Moas, eMerge Americas President Melissa Medina, Gallant CEO and Founder Aaron Hirschhonm, and Babson Miami Director Gustavo Trindade MBA’17. Babson and eMerge and other partners are planning to release later this month a report regarding the Miami entrepreneurial ecosystem.

One product of that thriving ecosystem, Alberto Perlman ’98, co-founder and CEO of the global brand Zumba, held a fireside chat with Blank Center Executive Director Debi Kleiman, discussing the expanding local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Babson Entrepreneurship Professor and Babson Academy Academic Director Heidi Neck led a special session of Babson’s Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE), a program designed to further develop faculty from around the world in the of art and craft of teaching entrepreneurship and building entrepreneurship programs.

Leading Miami’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

“This GEM gathering is yet another example of the visibility, events, and leadership that Babson provides to contribute role models and inspiration for entrepreneurs around the world,” said Kelley.

Babson has been part of the robust, diverse Miami business scene for years, providing education offerings benefiting entrepreneurs of all kinds living and working in South Florida and across Latin America.

The Blended Learning MBA – Miami offers a convenient blend of online classes, face-to-face sessions at the College’s 1200 Brickell Avenue home, as well as virtual collaboration. Babson’s Executive Education programs are designed for individuals across organizations of all kinds—startups, corporations, family businesses. The College’s certificates in Advance Management offer a highly customizable, self-paced program for working professionals and full-time students to advance skills in business leadership. Babson’s Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® Miami is a women’s entrepreneurship accelerator with local roots in Miami that has been transforming companies since 2016.

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