"Leveraging MIT contacts, we met with top fund managers and entrepreneurs on study tours to Asia and Africa."
Global Entrepreneurship Lab
Entrepreneurs in emerging markets
The Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) is the flagship international internship course at MIT Sloan. The course links teams of MIT Sloan MBA students with entrepreneurs in emerging markets in more than 20 countries around the world, including Ghana, Indonesia, Vietnam, Uruguay, and Brazil.
Global Reach, Global Impact
Students collaborate with global entrepreneurs to share their knowledge, experience, and research and assist them with immediate challenges in areas as diverse as internationalization, commercialization, finance, and marketing. The students gain valuable leadership experience in global environments, as well as test management skills in a myriad of real-world situations.
How G-Lab Works
During the fall semester, student teams select a project and work in partnership with global entrepreneurs. At the same time, the student teams are immersed in a semester classroom course, that provides macro-level content and context knowledge, while working with faculty subject-matter experts who provide project guidance. Student teams will spend three weeks in January working on-site with the entrepreneur and finalize their host company deliverable.
Current G-Lab courses focus on developing markets in Latin America, China, India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Students work with a variety of high-potential organizations in an array of industries. Past examples include an online video portal in Shanghai, an IT outsourcing firm in Bangalore, a health clinic in western Kenya, and a venture capital firm in Vietnam.
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“[The India Lab] program is one of the reasons I came to Sloan. ... The hands-on learning that MIT offers was a huge differentiator.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
“There really is a cross-disciplinary emphasis, and I like that. I have one foot in the marketing group and one foot in the economic sociology group, and I really enjoy playing that bridging function.”