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The adoption of a strong research agenda by the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business is an indicator of its commitment to the development of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Region through the delivery of relevant education and training programmes based on rigorous research. The School firmly believes that sustainable growth and competitiveness in the Caribbean can be achieved through implementation of enterprise development strategy suggested by contextualized research on entrepreneurship, innovation, family business and SME development. We invite you to join us as we systematically seek to pursue our mandate to produce leading research that is relevant for the Caribbean that can drive sustainable growth of our fragile economies through innovation and entrepreneurship development.
The process of innovation involves many variables concerning new products, services, methods, processes and management practices which ultimately can lead to dramatically improved competitiveness and growth. The governance system also should be able to constantly challenge all concepts and techniques that have hitherto proven successful. Entrepreneurial thinking is a key to the process of innovation since entrepreneurs by nature constantly challenge the existing orthodoxies of businesses and thus push further the frontier of managerial capabilities for creating extraordinary values for all stakeholders. Given the importance there must be a clear strategy as to how, as a society we can harness our entrepreneurial and innovation skills and capabilities to ensure sustainable high growth in the Caribbean.
Through its teaching, training and research activities, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has been already making a meaningful contribution to the economic and societal development of the Caribbean in general and Trinidad and Tobago, in particular. The Centre engages in organisational knowledge creation and dissemination of such knowledge into products, services and systems. In essence, the Centre seeks to bridge entrepreneurial behaviour and the process of innovation in an applied way. The work of the Centre is therefore focused on specific, applied research, practical skills and knowledge development which have the potential to lead to context specific solutions aimed at promoting product, process and managerial innovation.
The Arthur Lok Jack GSB Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation works in collaboration with all interested individuals and organisations including:
- Centre for Innovation, Development Enterprise and Strategy, University of Trinidad and Tobago
- Mona School of Business, UWI
- Cave Hill School of Business, UWI
- University of Guyana
- UWI School of Business and Applied Studies Ltd (ROYTEC)
As the center continues to grow, it will become a resource base for SMEs and family businesses and also for individuals seeking expert advice for innovation and developing entrepreneurial ventures. Students at the Arthur Lok Jack GSB currently have an opportunity to take following coursed offered from the Centre:
Strategic Management For Growth
This course is designed to inform strategic decision makers and identify a number of strategies for growing and differentiating the business.
Topics include: understanding strategy of small business; strategic planning and modeling; competitor analysis and environmental scanning; and planning for growth and expansion.
The course in Project Management focuses on how organizations use project management to sharpen organisational focus so that all resources can be optimally utilized while operating within a competitive environment. The course is taught from the point of view of how projects are identified, strategically designed, implemented and managed within a "projectised" framework. It highlights how an organization uses the "projectised" approach so as to make optimum use of scarce organisational resources. Project management is a management tool, and like most management tools, it is designed and taught so as to help students and their organisation do a better job.
This course is designed to introduce participants to the theory and practice of Managing Innovation. It has been designed in such a way so as to be useful to the individual both on the personal and organizational levels. Participants explore the nature and practice of innovation as a process, barriers to creativity and new product development process. In addition, at the end of the course, students should have accomplished two things: 1) assess the innovation potential of any local company selected by them 2) suggest a roadmap for implementing a strategy for radical innovation.
The Role of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean
This course introduces students to the concept of Entrepreneurship, the key characteristics of the entrepreneur, research in the area and its applicability to the Caribbean. Topics include: Global and Regional developmental perspectives, Entrepreneurial framework, Management of the Firm, Financing the Firm, Entrepreneurial Networks, Ethics and Social responsibility and issues in technology.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a multinational longitudinal study on the state of entrepreneurship in the world. It looks at the factors that inhibit the entrepreneurial process as well as those that enhance it and how the overall status of entrepreneurship can be improved. The study is the brainchild of the London Business School and Babson College in the USA. It began in 1997 and the first report was published in 1999 with the participation of 10 countries all from the OECD. The project has since grown to include more than 60 countries representing more than 2/3 of the world's population. It is considered to be the world leading consortium dedicated to understanding the relationships between entrepreneurship and national economic development. Trinidad and Tobago will be participating in the consortium for the first time this year 2010.
Entrepreneurship is critical to the economy, providing opportunities for job creation and employment, two critical components in poverty alleviation and crime reduction. We will begin this year and over time create a rich and powerful database of what entrepreneurship actually means and how it is represented in the context of Trinidad and Tobago. This will be of immense value to scholarship and development in the discipline of entrepreneurship and provide material for impact analysis and comparison with other countries across the globe. Another significant impact will be through the creation of a strong platform and forum for public policy debate and discussions which can potentially lead to the formulation of effective public policy for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation activities both locally and in the wider Caribbean. In addition to government and academics, entrepreneurs, financial institutions and students will all benefit from the data that this project will create over time.
The project has several important components. One is an annual survey of at least 2000 adults from the population of Trinidad and Tobago. There is also the National Experts Survey to gain perspectives on the existing infrastructure that support (or not) entrepreneurship. These two data sets feed into the global dataset which is created by the GEM consortium and used to rank the country against the rest of the world. There is also the National Report which analyses both set of data in light of present economic conditions and make recommendations for improvements.
In the new age of innovation to maintain even a slow growth companies will have to achieve innovation of incremental nature. Even such innovations demand continuous, though marginal, improvement of products and processes. But, to accelerate the growth, which is essential for remaining competitive for a longer period, there is no other option for the firms but to pursue radical or game changing innovation of products/ services or business models on a continuous basis. Hence, innovation needs to be implanted into the DNA of the firm and thus bringing a total organizational transformation. The major challenge here is, how do you firmly implant the innovation gene in a company that has spent decades focusing on efficiency and short-term operational performance?
Unfortunately, most of the firms are not in a position to make such transformation on their own and will require outside assistance. This is primarily due to the fact that institutionalizing high-growth-oriented (or disruptive) innovation is hard work that poses challenging questions for every firm that is trying to institutionalize such innovations.
The Business Accelerator (BA) of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at ALJGSB aims at helping the companies from the Caribbean region in general and Trinidad and Tobago, in particular to meet the challenges of innovation head on and graduate to a high-growth trajectory. Through this initiative the GSB will not only be able to raise the level of competitiveness of the regional firms to new heights, but will also offer great value to all its other stakeholders: students, associated professionals and sponsoring agencies.
"Generations of Prosperity: Making Family Business Tick" - click here to see flyer
For more information, questions or comments, contact The Lok Jack GSB's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The center is located at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Max Richards Drive, Uriah Butler Highway, Northwest, Mount Hope.