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Wilson Center Examines ‘Born-Global’ Social Ventures

Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship Hosts First Research Seminar

Research seminar attendees pose for group photo Photo by Ed Brennen
The Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship's first research seminar drew a dozen faculty and students, including the center's namesake, Prof. Jack Wilson, fifth from left.

By Ed Brennen

The Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship recently welcomed Assoc. Prof. Lei Li from the Nottingham University Business School in China, who led a research seminar on the evolving process of “born-global” social ventures.

This was the first research seminar hosted by the Wilson Center, which was established at the Manning School of Business to promote innovation in entrepreneurship education and research across the university. The center partners with a variety of entrepreneurial initiatives across campus, including the Global Entrepreneurship Exchange, the DifferenceMaker program and the Innovation Hub.

Li Sun, associate professor of marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, invited Li to campus to speak. They met a decade ago in the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Dallas and have collaborated on several projects since then.

The seminar was hosted by Assoc. Prof. Yi Yang, chair of the MEI department and co-director of the Wilson Center. The center’s namesake, Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Innovation Jack Wilson, was also among the faculty in attendance.

Prof. Lei Li from the Nottingham University Business School leads research seminar Photo by Ed Brennen
Assoc. Prof. Lei Li from the Nottingham University Business School in China presents his research on "born-global" social ventures.

“It was a great honor to be here, and I thank Prof. Yang and Prof. Sun for inviting me to talk,” said Li, who delivered a 90-minute seminar on his research project with ANA by Karma, a multinational social enterprise based in Hong Kong. ANA by Karma sells scarves that are handmade by women artisans in Bhutan who are mostly poor and illiterate. Profits are used to support the development programs of the women and their community. Li called the enterprise “born global,” since it was multinational from its inception.

Sun, meanwhile, has received the 2018 Publons Peer Review Award for placing in the top 1 percent of reviewers in economics & business on Publons’ Global Reviewer Database. The award is determined by the number of peer review reports prepared during the 2017-18 award year.  

“On behalf of the Manning School, I want to congratulate Assoc. Prof. Sun,” said Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer. “I thank him for his many contributions to the academic community.”