Walton College Extends Entrepreneurial Certificate Program in Panama
Officials say program benefits students and facultyMonday, November 26, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, with the help of the World Trade Center Arkansas and in collaboration with a governmental agency in Panama, will continue to invest in Panama through a successful certificate program that instructs Panamanian entrepreneurs in the techniques of starting a successful business.
The certificate program, which began in October 2011, aims to increase entrepreneurial skills in Panama by exposing entrepreneurs to important aspects of starting a successful business, such as recognizing and commercializing creative ideas, managing the finances of innovative activities
and marketing products that spawn from those ideas.
“Developing such skills in local entrepreneurs can make a big difference to emerging economies such as those in Panama,” said Vikas Anand, the interim M.B.A. director for Walton College. “Programs such as this certificate are a testimony to the expertise of our faculty.” Walton College faculty members have benefited as well, Anand said. “Continuous exposure of our faculty members to students in countries such as Panama further increases their insights into how individuals think and transact business in different cultures, and this further augments the richness of their instruction here at the Walton College,” he said.
“Some of the Walton College’s best faculty are working in this program,” said Marion Dunagan, assistant dean for graduate programs at the Walton College. “Panama plays an important strategic role in the world’s economy, with the Panama Canal impacting shipping for many international companies. The experience Walton faculty gain by teaching in this environment is invaluable as we work toward the globalization of our curriculum in both graduate and undergraduate programs.” Alan E. Ellstrand, chair of the management department at the Walton College and the Charles C. Fichtner Chair in Management, taught with the program.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Panama, the great facilities, warm hospitalities and outstanding students,” he said. “I was impressed to learn that Panama has one of the world’s fastest growing economies and has a very diverse population. I believe that Panama is poised to play an even more critical role in the international trade in the future.”
“The caliber of the students far exceeded my expectations,” said Carol Reeves, the university’s associate vice provost for entrepreneurship and a professor of management in the Walton College. “I think of my time in Panama very fondly and look forward to returning.”
The Panama certificate program is one of many ways the University of Arkansas has continued to invest in and work with Panama.Beginning in March, the Walton College will offer a program in Panama that will allow students there to earn a master’s degree in business administration.
David Speer, director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
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