Walton College Engages the World, Programs Help Students and Business

In a time when it is imperative for almost every business to think globally, the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas is actively engaging with the world. The diverse Walton College programs, through its Global Engagement Office and other intiatives, help businesses in other countries while opening up opportunities for University of Arkansas students to have enriching experiences all over the world.

The Walton College offers a wide range of global study experiences for students with programs in Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico and Italy, to name a few. But its global outreach efforts go far beyond that.

Through an initial concept plan developed by the Global Engagement Office, the Walton College, Fulbright College and the Clinton School are joining efforts with Vital Voices Global Partnership to help women entrepreneurs lead successful businesses in other countries.

With recommendations from Vital Voices, Ghana has been selected as an ideal country to begin the initial work and to create the building blocks to establish a worldwide research and technical assistance program. Donors funded an initial planning trip in August 2011. Research and student activities will follow in summer 2012.

In 2006, the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with Peacework Development Fund, initiated a five-year commitment to work in partnership with a developing community in Belize. The program seeks to provide a practical application of students’ theoretical learning by engaging them in an international community development project designed to achieve sustainable economic and social development.

The University of Arkansas just completed its fifth year in Belize with much success and is committed to continuing its program there and expanding into other locations. One such location is Nampula, Mozambique.

New Horizon Farms is a vertically integrated poultry company located near Nampula. The company, a partnership between a local investor and an African farmer and businessman, has a vision to create employment, develop their employees and their families and outreach to improve the lives of those in the community. The longer run goal is to create a business model that can be replicated in communities throughout Africa, attracting numerous visionary investors to promote sustainable economic and social development.

A University of Arkansas alumnus who is a partner in New Horizon Farms has pledged $45,000 to be used as a matching gift to inspire others to support the program. Our goal is to secure $45,000 in gift commitments by June 30, 2012. Gifts are payable over a three year period.

Your gift to the global Community Development program to support the Mozambique Global Engagement will continue to change both the lives of University of Arkansas students and the lives of the people with whom they will work.

In addition to the those initiatives, the Walton College also is developing important ties with South America. With the help of the Arkansas World Trade Center and in collaboration with a governmental agency in Panama, the Walton College has started the “Executive Education Certificate in Entrepreneurial Excellence” program to instruct Panamanian entrepreneurs in the techniques of starting a successful business.

The cooperative program with the Panamanian National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation grew out of a trade mission in April by the college and the Arkansas World Trade Center. The program began Oct. 7, with the classes in Panama City continuing once a month through April 2012. The classes take place over one Friday and Saturday each month.

In addition, a faculty member and three students got a chance to see the workings of international business from the inside when they accompanied a trade mission to Brazil and attended the General Assembly of World Trade Centers in Sao Paulo.

Student participation in the trip was fully funded and the faculty participation partially funded by the Walton College Global Engagement Office. The World Trade Center Arkansas organized the trip.