To deliver our programs, our staff collaborates with its Faculty Affiliate Network — entrepreneurship experts and educators who share our passion of fostering entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
Dr. Eric Fretz Fretz teaches “Entrepreneurial Creativity,” one of the core courses in the University of Michigan’s minor in entrepreneurship. Through “train the trainer” programs, Dr. Fretz has taught hundreds of teachers how to teach and create curriculum, in sectors such as military, government, and public service. In addition, Dr. Fretz teaches academic success “learning to learn” classes to undergraduate students and student veterans on multiple campuses, including the University of Michigan and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Through WDI’s role on the Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship project, Dr. Fretz is assisting with building the capacity of trainers in Turkey to deliver an entrepreneurship incubation program to refugees and their host communities. Dr. Fretz holds a PhD in Education and Psychology, and a Master’s in Psychology, both from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Master’s in Education and Training from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
|“I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing the great work my students do when they are turned loose, properly motivated, and given the tools to succeed. Their brilliance and drive can really astound! So many of them report back that their work in my classes launched them into interests and activities they had not really considered, and I love that. I like to joke that my job is to ‘set students on fire’ – and they seem to like it.”|
John Hennessy teaches the introductory and advanced entrepreneurship practicum courses for the University of Michigan’s Minor in Entrepreneurship. The courses are commonly taken by student entrepreneurs hoping to start or grow their companies. John is also the CEO and co-founder of Elegus Technologies, a battery nanotechnology spin-out from the University of Michigan. Prior to this, John founded and managed multiple startups that provided tutoring services and online education products for STEM fields and standardized exams. John received a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering and a Master of Entrepreneurship degree, both from the University of Michigan.
|“I believe the world is a wicked learning environment and it’s become increasingly important to connect the dots between seemingly disparate subjects. Entrepreneurs must become generalists and passionate problem solvers to do this. I’ve embraced this mentality and I’ve found it incredibly rewarding to pass it on to entrepreneurs solving other big problems.”|
Dr. Elena Dowin Kennedy is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University. Dr. Kennedy has worked with a range of mission driven and locally oriented entrepreneurs seeking to formalize and grow their organizations, including an indigenous tea enterprise in Ecuador. Dr. Kennedy teaches Introduction to the Doer/Maker Mindset, Entrepreneurship for the Greater Good, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Strategy, and Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Dr. Kennedy holds a PhD in Organizations and Social Change from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
|“My passion for entrepreneurship comes from my experience as a middle school teacher in an impoverished rural community in the Mississippi Delta where there were few options for employment.I believe that locally and socially oriented entrepreneurship can be a key lever to building opportunities for success in struggling communities and I am committed to learning and sharing best practices.”|
Rashmi Menon is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Zell Lurie Institute and Lecturer in Entrepreneurial Studies and Business Administration at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. As a seasoned Silicon Valley executive, Rashmi also provides strategic planning and product management consulting focused on bringing small company agility to big companies and big company scalability to startups. She also coaches entrepreneurs through the significant aspects of launching and scaling a business. She has launched numerous businesses and products within large corporations including The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, and Yahoo!. She co-founded Green Resource Network and served as Vice President of Product Management at high tech startups Zvents (acquired by eBay) and VideoGenie. She received a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University.
|“I believe that entrepreneurship is an innately human quality – from the people who discovered fire and the wheel to the artificial intelligence businesses of today, seeing a problem and finding a better way to solve it is what humans have been doing for thousands of years. I find it tremendously rewarding to help people from all backgrounds and walks of life discover this quality within themselves to build businesses which solve the myriad problems which exist in the world today.”|
Millie Chu is devoted to economic development, entrepreneurial training, and higher education. Through WDI, Millie designed a plan to guide the development of an Entrepreneurship Coaching Platform in Bahrain for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and delivered train-the-trainers workshops on operational processes and how to coach entrepreneurs. Millie has served as a judge for the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC); she has also developed a series of pitch preparation workshops and coached dozens of competitors throughout Michigan. As a Certified Small Business Consultant for the Michigan SBDC and Founder of A2 LEAP, she has advised over 350 organizations and assisted in launching over 40 startups throughout her career. She specializes in the mechanics of starting and running a successful business, quantitative and qualitative essentials, and the consciousness of success through customized training and experiential learning.
|“Most entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by numerous challenges. To have a coach and mentor who has experienced challenges of having to build from modest or difficult beginnings gives hope and kindles their spirit to persevere. Entrepreneurship training is as much teaching the mechanics and science of business development as it is understanding the societal, environmental, and psychological factors that surround the entrepreneur. My approach is to train them from the ground from which they stand and to teach them the tools to enable them to rise, launch, and sustain success throughout their business lifecycle.”|
Dr. Julie Felker is a faculty affiliate and senior consultant to the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan. She teaches a variety of courses including Strategic Talent Management, Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, Change Management, and Developing Management Skills. Most recently, Julie worked with WDI in Papua New Guinea to assess entrepreneurship education at three universities in order to understand their needs and priorities in the context of local economic conditions. In addition, she developed and delivered a week-long train-the-trainer workshop in Bahrain to university faculty, consultants, and trainers, aimed at building leadership capabilities of local entrepreneurs. Finally, in Rwanda, she trained 330 women business owners in Human Resources and Organizational Management as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative. Previously, Julie spent 15 years as a senior academic leader in the College of Business at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Julie earned her Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from Lawrence Technological University.
|“I believe that my work in entrepreneurship training has…broken down barriers, especially for women who have, as a result of training, developed greater confidence in their ability to start and manage sustainable small businesses. It has been an engine for employment growth and provided income to be reinvested in the business and the broader economy. To be part of a global educational community that has a direct impact on the lives and well-being of individuals, families, and the economic development of emerging markets is a responsibility that I take very seriously.”|
Dr. Kunal Basu is a Professor of Marketing at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College. Prior to Oxford, he was Associate Professor of Marketing at McGill University, Canada. A Ph.D. from the University of Florida, Kunal’s recent research focuses on the interface between strategic marketing and society. He has published extensively in areas of Corporate Social Responsibility, Branding Strategy, Brand Loyalty, International Marketing, Marketing in Developing Countries, Consumer Decision Making, and Advertising Strategy. Over the past twenty years he has also been involved in senior executive education in sixteen countries in four continents. Kunal has also played a significant role in institution building: he has been the founding director of McGill University’s Centre for International Management Studies, led the design initiative to establish the first fully endowed private university in India, and networked extensively with multilateral agencies and global businesses in emerging markets. Kunal consults frequently with major corporations and government departments, including BMW, Lufthansa, The Standard Bank of South Africa, The Royal Bank of Canada, IKEA, Pepsico, and Xerox. He is also the acclaimed author of five novels and a collection of short stories.
|“Creating a solid foundation for development requires training individuals as well as equipping institutions in developing countries to prepare the next generation of leaders. I find the challenge to be intrinsically rewarding.”|
Dr. Stephen Brand is the President and Chief Imagination Officer of the New Enterprise Factory. He helps launch entrepreneurial ventures. Some of his clients include Ford Motor Company, the US Olympic Committee, WGBH-Boston, the Jim Henson Company, and many small start-ups, including one that was awarded $300K from Shark Tank. He taught new venture creation to Kuwaiti emerging entrepreneurs through a project with Babson College. He also developed and delivered workshops for faculty from Egyptian universities as they looked to establish and build entrepreneurship programs and centers. Through Babson Global, Stephen developed graduate and undergraduate courses in creative and Design Thinking for a new university in Saudi Arabia. As Executive Director of Global Learning and Development at Bay Path University, Stephen designed the first fully online entrepreneurship major for women. Some of Stephen’s research findings related to what inspires innovators can be found in his TEDX talk, The Innovator’s Journey.
|“When I work with entrepreneurs, I’m struck by how imagining the future and solving today’s and tomorrow’s challenges opens people up to thrive and be their best. When they hit obstacles, they persevere and are energized. Teaching entrepreneurship is a chance to help people imagine a future that is not constrained by a culture of “no” and “Why should we?” but more about how bold we can think and how we can deliver solutions to problems that hold back society. This creates opportunities that take advantage of the rich history of social foundations and technological innovations that define our world.”|
Dr. Anna Nikina-Ruohonen Anna is a scholar, trainer and educator in innovation management, entrepreneurship and female entrepreneurship. Her doctoral dissertation on female entrepreneurs in Scandinavia was awarded a prize for its practical contribution to entrepreneurship by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Anna has worked for over 15 years in the development of international partnerships in business, education and innovation ecosystems. She is an Affiliated Professor with the Grenoble Ecole de Management, France and the author of Areas of Innovation in a Global World.
|“Enabling entrepreneurship and innovation requires a comprehensive view on expanding the concepts of the university and science park environments and aiming to create sustainable and effective working and living conditions. Education and training are the catalysts in preparing individuals and organizations to become the contributors to and the leaders of transformation of our global society. Certainly, the most liquid and high-return investment remains the investment in knowledge, skills and competencies.”|
Dr. Brian Blume is a Professor of Management and teaches the course “Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation” at the University of Michigan-Flint. He is also involved with the university’s Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation within the School of Management, which offers students extracurricular entrepreneurship opportunities. Dr. Blume holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from Indiana University and an MBA from Bradley University.
|“I grew up on a family farm and several of my brothers have successfully started and run small businesses. I’ve seen first-hand how an entrepreneurial passion can create jobs and an advantageous career. I’ve also experienced the ups and downs of working in entrepreneurial companies and I’ve helped my students learn how to become successful entrepreneurs. In short, I am passionate about equipping entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills to achieve their dreams.”|
Dr. Paul Arsenault is a retired Professor from West Chester University, and has also had recent teaching appointments at Franklin & Marshall College and the Jefferson University, all based in Pennsylvania. Dr. Arsenault has 35 years of experience teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on topics such as innovation, organizational behavior/change, market strategy, globalization, and leadership, and has taught MBA courses in Bucharest, Romania. His research has been focused on generational differences in leadership, as well as how organizations can develop innovative thinking and behavior. Dr. Arsenault holds a PhD in Human Development from Temple University, an MBA from Wake Forest University, and a Master’s in Psychology from Vanderbilt University.
|“Entrepreneurship evokes strong emotion and enthusiasm. Working with entrepreneurs is exciting. Entrepreneurs are eager to learn as they are curious, open to different ways of thinking, and have a desire to solve problems that will help people and society. These qualities allow entrepreneurs to create significant change which is essential for progress in a fast-paced world.”
Barbara Boldt has been teaching communication skills to international managers and students for more than 20 years. Barbara has taught in more than 15 countries and interacted with participants from more than 35 countries. She has designed and delivered courses on international negotiation, multicultural team building, global leadership, intercultural competency, intercultural communication and Design Thinking. Barbara is passionate about helping entrepreneurs improve their pitching skills. Through her workshop series called Pitch Polish she teaches entrepreneurs how to create and deliver their pitches authentically, professionally, and impactfully. Barbara is a pitch coach for several student accelerators at the University of Michigan including TechArb and OptiMize. She also volunteers with the New Enterprise Forum, an organization that coaches entrepreneurs on how to create and deliver an investor pitch. Barbara holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
|“Good communication skills are crucial to an entrepreneur’s success. Their ability to concisely and clearly pitch their business is what enables them to find the partners, clients, investors, and employees that will make their business a going concern. Investors invest in an entrepreneur who can communicate effectively because they know if they were convinced, other investors will be too. I gain immense satisfaction from helping entrepreneurs express their knowledge and passion in a way that ignites passion in others as well.”
Dr. Michael Metzger’s research focuses on university-based economic development, entrepreneurship, and technology transfer. Michael’s teaching interests include Marketing Management, Marketing Research, International Marketing, and Social Marketing. He also studies developing Latin American economies, sustainable technologies and business practices. His work in emerging Latin American markets has ranged from helping small Costa Rican floral shops achieve access to a global market, researching Bolivian social entrepreneurs engaged in the exportation of branded organic real quinoa cultivated by indigenous cooperatives, to researching social entrepreneurs that have created entire socially inclusive industries for rural Costa Ricans. He has also worked with sustainable tourism destinations and private firms throughout Latin America promoting economically, environmentally sustainable models. Michael holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan.
|“The heart of my consulting, research and teaching is discovering economic and ecological niche business models that thrive in local markets as they leverage local knowledge and talent and unique environmental resources and geography available to them to create and promote sustainable social, environmental and economic justice. This work is more than an engaging intellectual exercise, or professional vocation for me. It is a more gratifying pursuit than I could have imagined. It is my passion.”|
Our team is committed to delivering professional offerings which are supported by our full range of skillsets. We look forward to working with you.
Amy Gillett leads the development of entrepreneurship programs at WDI’s Entrepreneurship Development Center. In this role, she brings her 15 years of experience in designing and delivering management education programs in 24 countries. She has worked with partners such as the US State Department and Goldman Sachs to develop high-impact programs for entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Morocco, and the Czech Republic. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women project she oversaw provided business training to over 300 small business owners from throughout Rwanda. She has also overseen entrepreneurship train-the-trainer programs and curriculum development projects in Bahrain and Papua New Guinea. Amy has experience in designing elearning modules and in developing hybrid programs that combine virtual training with face to face delivery for great impact.
|“Through our programs, we’ve helped hundreds of small business owners in developing economies scale their businesses. This means a better life for them and their families. It also means that they can offer jobs to others — often people struggling to get by. When people are productively employed in society, the economy grows and civil society flourishes.”|
Kristin Kelterborn is trained in program design and delivery, and leverages this skill to support WDI’s EDC’s entrepreneurship programs. Prior to joining WDI, Kristin provided research and advisory services to entrepreneurs with triple bottom line businesses or ideas at an accelerator. Kristin has worked on a variety of enterprises, including: an aquaponics company in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia; an urban herb farm that produces teas and frozen popsicles; data and sensor technology for the agriculture sector; and a hop farm that sought to produce inputs for local beer producers. Kristin has also conducted research at a youth empowerment center in Kenya related to youth perceptions of agricultural livelihoods. Kristin views entrepreneurship as playing a key role in developing economies to: address unemployment, especially among youth; introduce innovative solutions to local challenges; and build the transferable skills required to start a business or move into the workforce.
|“I am particularly passionate about women’s entrepreneurship. Women-led businesses can lead to empowerment for women, as well as have significant positive social and economic impacts on families.”|
Diana E. Páez brings ten years of experience designing and implementing projects in various sectors, most recently around the role of higher education institutions in supporting entrepreneurship development and economic growth in Barbados, the Philippines, and various countries in the Central America and the Caribbean region. Specifically, Diana worked to increase academia-industry interactions to develop more and better aligned opportunities for workforce development. She has also supported micro, small and medium enterprises through specialized Small Business Development Centers established in the region following the U.S. model. Diana is particularly interested in helping women and youth entrepreneurs to get the knowledge and tools they need to be successful, as she sees them as key contributors to global economic growth and a source of immense – yet still relatively untapped – potential.
|“I am passionate about designing entrepreneurship programs that can lead to tangible results for entrepreneurs with the grit, resourcefulness and commitment to start their own business, and deeply appreciate the uniqueness of contexts in which we work.”|
Sandra Draheim has more than 25 years of global marketing experience including leadership positions at both ad agencies and corporations within the retailing, automotive, building products, financial and public sectors. She has led many cross-functional teams in developing successful marketing campaigns that incorporated strategic, integrated marketing communications. Sandy manages all WDI marketing and also heads WDI’s case publishing operations. Most recently, she has led distribution, publishing and marketing efforts for the multi-year, Philippines-based STRIDE Project which will include over 85 business cases by mid 2017.
|“The marketing and dissemination of entrepreneurial ideas, processes, and best practices is crucial to advancing positive change in emerging markets. But we should also remember the importance of sharing failures because they are both commonplace and expected within an entrepreneurial environment. Then, by adhering to proven marketing fundamentals, it’s possible to shape strong, entrepreneurial mindsets focused on the unique market dynamics within specific regions of the world.”|
WDI maintains strong connections with faculty members from around the world who have taken part in our offerings. Our faculty network is always growing. Contact us to join our our network.
Dr. Anji Ben Hamed Amara is an Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at Ahlia University’s (Bahrain) College of Business and Finance. Courses that Dr. Anji has taught include: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Strategy, and New Venture Creation. Dr. Anji is Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Ahlia University.
Dr. Aurelia Braguta is the Founder and President of the National Association of Young Managers of Moldova and an Associate Professor at the State University of Moldova. Dr. Braguta established the first business incubator for students in Moldova and was a Director of the Business Incubator of the Academy of Economic Studies in Chisinau, Moldova. As an Associate professor, she teaches ethics and CSR in business and small business development.
Dr. Dinah Pura T. Depositario is a Professor of the Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (DAME), College of Economics and Management (CEM), University of the Philippines Los Baños. She designed and is co-teaching a graduate entrepreneurship course, “Theory and Practice of Entrepreneurship.” She was one of the proponents of her department’s undergraduate General Education course, “Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit”. She was also the lead proponent of a Philippine Department of Science and Technology funded project entitled,” “Harnessing UPLB’s Capacity for Techno-Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization: Key to Better-Placed AFNR Graduates.”
Abderrahman Hassi teaches Management and Entrepreneurship at Al Akhawayn University, Morocco. Dr. Hassi’s current research focuses, among others, on entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial journeys and self-entrepreneurship. Abderrahman is an advocate of teaching entrepreneurship in early education and initiated the Never too early to learn entrepreneurship initiative in the Atlas region where he voluntarily teaches custom-designed entrepreneurship activities to elementary school students in Morocco.
Besnik A. Krasniqi teaches Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Innovation Management and Research Methods at University of Prishtina in graduate and postgraduate studies. A Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, he holds MA and PhD in Economics from Staffordshire University (UK) and has authored several books, research articles, numerus research reports. He is a funding director of the Business Support Centre in Kosova.
Bradley C. LaLonde is Chairman and Co-Founder of Vietnam Partners LLC, an investment bank serving Vietnam. Over the last 12 years Vietnam Partners directly and indirectly through its managed funds has invested over $150 million into over 30 growth companies. Through a distinguished 25-year banking career, Mr. LaLonde has proven competence in market entry strategy, start up operations in emerging markets, risk management, strategic training, new product development and people management. With a passion forentrepreneurship, he recently arranged a student project to create an independent center for start up business in Vietnam (funded by WDI and ZLI at the University of Michigan). Mr. LaLonde holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Columbia University, where he was a distinguished international fellow.
Dr. Lameea Al-Tahoo is an Assistant Professor and Associate Dean at Ahlia University’s (Bahrain) College of Business and Finance. “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Strategy” is one of the courses she teaches to MBA students at Ahlia. As Advisor of the College’s Entrepreneurship Center, Dr. Al-Tahoo coaches and trains faculty members from various disciplines on how to embed entrepreneurship skills into their curricula.