2016 Annual Conference - Guayaquil, Ecuador

From starting up to sustained growth: Opportunities and challenges faced by Latin American entrepreneurs

Hosted by ESPAE Graduate School of Management, ESPOL

Program Chair: Xavier Ordeñana

ESPAE Graduate School of Management organized a remarkable BALAS 2016 Annual Conference. Eighty scholars had the opportunity to present and share their research with peers from 47 universities from around the world.

The event started with a plenary session "Global Latinas: Achievements and Challenges" led by the keynote speaker Lourdes Casanova, Academic Director of the Emerging Markets Institute at the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University. Her presentation explained the remarkable expansion of Global Latinas during the last 20 years, being the unique characteristic of these companies their entrepreneurship mindset that makes them adapt to the difficult economic environment in Latin America. The remaining challenges for Latin-American companies highlighted by Lourdes were: having more competitive economic sector, ecosystems with incentives for innovation and finally the social challenge of poverty.

On day two, the plenary session featured its keynote speaker Armen Ovanesoff, principal Director at the Accenture Institute for High Performance in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His lecture, "Collaborating for Latin America´s Future", pointed the disruptive economic environment which meant that innovation is becoming more important to companies and how collaborating innovation is seen as the way to growth. For Omar, Latin America has to address mindset issues like trust, internationalization of collaboration and the realization of opportunities offered by cross sectorial collaborations. Once companies realize the results of collaboration, they will move on into the collaboration innovation virtual cycle effect, was the hopeful observation from Omar.

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