Action Learning

Global Entrepreneurship Lab

G-Lab student teams have delivered insight and analysis to 515 startup and growing companies on 739 projects located in 55 emerging and frontier markets globally.

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Global Entrepreneurship Lab


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15.389 Global Entrepreneurship Lab

Entrepreneurship in the 21stcentury is evolving at a rapid pace. Global advances in technology, communication, and capital markets have catalyzed innovative startups that are building successful companies in markets around the globe, in young or emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems. The real world challenges these entrepreneurs face are the focus of Global Entrepreneurship Lab.

Since 2000, Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) student teams have delivered insight and analysis to 515 startup and growing companies on 739 projects located in 55 emerging and frontier markets around the world. Our teams work on business problems with sponsoring host companies in critical areas such as fintech, cryptocurrency, mobile apps, digital media, telecom, transportation logistics, venture capital, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

This course focuses on measuring and understanding what kinds of entrepreneurship thrive in different countries. Students work with host companies to develop analytical diagnostic frameworks that can be used to better understand any situation. This includes applying macroeconomic, microeconomic, and financial tools – as well as thinking about the role of politics, culture, and other noneconomic variables. G-Lab covers relevant history, as well as the likely trajectory of countries and what kinds of policies can make a difference. 

G-Lab is an interdisciplinary project-based learning course with three specific goals:

  • To provide students with insights into the opportunities and problems facing entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
  • To structure an intensive project experience for students, in which they work collaboratively with senior leadership at global startups.
  • To help students develop their skills of integrated problem framing, in order to understand how organizations in complex environments move to action.

G-Lab spotlight

Global Entrepreneurship Lab


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Innovating with entrepreneurs around the world

 For 22 years, G-Lab student teams have been working with startups around the globe to help them scale their businesses to generate both an economic and social impact. Typically, students assist entrepreneurs in emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

G-Lab impact stories

See more G-Lab Impact Stories

G-Lab Companies

Global Entrepreneurship Lab

Info for students

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From the classroom to the field

As the main feature of G-Lab, student teams work with their host companies on project engagements designed to tackle real-world problems. Host companies are located in up to 15 different emerging market economies throughout the world. In September, G-Lab faculty members match the best-qualified teams to their preferred host company's project. From late September through December, the teams work remotely from campus with the companies to advance the project work, building their relationships through online collaboration and weekly conference calls. Teams conduct project-related research, interviews, and analyses that lay critical groundwork for their onsite field work. In January, teams travel to work on site full-time at their host companies’ offices for three weeks. 

Return: Reflections and deliverables

In MIT Sloan’s signature Think-Act-Reflect approach to Action Learning, reflection is an ongoing component in the cycle of a G-Lab project. Through various methods of reflection – such as written reflection papers, team process exercises, mentor coaching, posters, public presentations, and student blogs – students link theory and practice before, during, and after their project engagement, leading to a deeper understanding of the broad impact of what they’ve learned. The teams’ final deliverables include a formal presentation and concrete “leave behinds” that deliver high-impact tools, such as financial models, HR manuals, strategic business plans, or social marketing strategies that the host companies’ senior management can put to work immediately. 

Class timeline 2024-2025

  • Summer 2024

    Surveys sent to enrolled G-Lab students to help target project recruitment efforts; communications also sent regarding preparation for travel and the three week IAP onsite.

  • Late August

    G-Lab 2024—25 approved projects are posted for viewing.

  • Week of September 9

    Students finalize team formation; meet with faculty to discuss project interests.

  • Week of September 16

    G-Lab faculty matches student teams with projects/host companies; course mentors are assigned to teams. Virtual introductions made and teams begin project work.

  • September - December

    Teams work on research; conduct interviews and analysis; hold virtual weekly meetings with host company and regular meetings with mentor.

  • January 2025

    Teams travel to and work onsite at their host company’s offices full-time for three weeks (15 consecutive business days) during IAP 2025. Onsite dates determined by team and host.

G-Lab student FAQs

Global Entrepreneurship Lab

Info for hosts

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The benefits of becoming a host company

Since 2000, MIT Sloan G-Lab teams have provided high-impact insight and analysis on an extremely cost-effective basis to 515 startups and fast-growing companies with 739 projects in 55 emerging and frontier markets. Our MBA student teams focus on the specific challenges requested by sponsoring host companies, and work to find concrete solutions that can be implemented concretely, quickly and efficiently. 

The value G-Lab teams deliver is consistently rated as superior by our host companies. Each year, a significant percentage of new host companies are introduced to us by satisfied past participants. Each year, more than 30% of our host companies return to work with our G-Lab teams. 

Student teams

As a direct result of G-Lab’s legacy of success and impact, the course attracts students with rich and varied backgrounds, skills, and work experience. Each four-person G-Lab team is comprised of second-year MBA students and, on occasion, other MIT graduate students, representing a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, from management consulting and financial services to manufacturing and operations. 

Project scope

When determining project scope, host companies draw from a broad spectrum of business challenges such as strategic growth, new market entry, pricing, marketing, benchmarking, fundraising, and financial strategy. G-Lab strongly emphasizes concrete “leave-behinds” as a primary component of the teams’ project deliverables. For example, for a project focused on creating an acquisition strategy, the deliverables will likely include an M&A toolkit with spreadsheet templates and valuation benchmarks, each with user guides. Student teams may deliver other concrete tools such as financial models, potential customer/investor/partner pipelines and screens, and go-to-market roadmaps. 

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Projects Since 2000

Host timeline

  • July - August

    G-Lab recruits new projects each year between July and August. Companies interested in participating submit an online project questionnaire, which asks for a description of the scope of the business challenge and proposed final deliverables. The questionnaire also asks for desired skill sets and areas of expertise, including non-English language requirements. As part of the due diligence process, G-Lab faculty connect with each company to help shape and refine their project scope for the questionnaire. 

  • September

    G-Lab faculty match host company projects with the best-qualified student teams. 

  • Late September - December

    Students work with companies remotely via conference calls and online collaboration to create a work plan and finalize scope, then conduct initial research, interviews, and analysis. With mentor support, teams are charged with the responsibility for building and managing the host company relationship. 

  • January

    Teams work on-site at host companies’ offices full-time for at least three weeks. Final deliverables include a formal presentation and concrete “leave behinds” that include high-impact tools and recommendations hosts can immediately use.  

Host company obligations

Host companies receive optimal results when the CEO and other senior managers are available to devote focused time and energy on the project and with the G-Lab team, especially while teams are on site. While MIT Sloan does not charge companies a fee for engaging a G-Lab team, host companies do assume responsibility for 1) round-trip economy airfare for the team, and 2) modest, safe lodging while they are in-country. Given that G-Lab sends teams to countries from Argentina to Zambia, travel and lodging costs vary widely. As a guide, however, a number of recent host companies report that they budget approximately US $8,000 - $12,500 to host a team. 

Interested in hosting?

In order to participate, potential host companies must have a due diligence call with G-Lab faculty and submit the G-Lab questionnaire. If you are interested in becoming a host company for G-Lab, or if you have any other questions, please email .

G-Lab host organization news

We work with an amazing array of host organizations from emerging markets all over the world. Learn more about them below. 

Action Learning

SoFi acquires Technisys, a digital cloud-based core banking platform

SoFi technologies is acquiring Technisys, a G-Lab host company.

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Global Entrepreneurship Lab


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G-Lab Faculty

Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship

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Michellana Jester

Michellana Jester

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Senior Lecturer, Global Economics and Management

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G-Lab Mentors

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Matias B. Adam

Behavioral and Policy Sciences


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Luis Spencer Barros

Luis Spencer Barros

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Lecturer, Global Economics and Management (GEM).

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John C. Grant

John C. Grant

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Senior Lecturer, International Action Learning Programs (G-Lab, China/India Lab, GO-Lab)

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Shari Loessberg

Shari Loessberg

Behavioral and Policy Sciences

Senior Lecturer, Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management

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G-Lab team in Chile

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