​​​​​Kelley Expands Babson's Global Reach

Donna Kelley, an associate professor of entrepreneurship who holds the Frederic C. Hamilton Chair in Free Enterprise Studies, is Babson’s eyes and ears in China and South Korea.

During the past eight years, she has forged strong partnerships with Asian scholars to research entrepreneurship activity and education in these countries, and has taught at top business schools in Asia.

This year, she will collaborate with Fulbright Scholar Hengyuan (Henry) Zhu, a professor from Tsinghua University in China. They will study entrepreneurship education at a dozen top Chinese universities that have well-developed business programs. “Our goal is to impact the way entrepreneurship is taught in China and the U.S. We want this research to be mutually beneficial for both countries and even uncover new ways that U.S. and Chinese universities can partner to develop more effective entrepreneurship programs,” she says.

She also studies corporate entrepreneurship, with a focus on technology and product innovation in large companies, which is becoming extremely relevant for Chinese businesses. “As foreign companies are increasingly going to other Asian countries for low price manufacturing, China recognizes the importance of demonstrating its capabilities in innovation to compete in the global marketplace. This means coming up with new ways to educate top talent and encourage innovation in corporate cultures. That is where my research focus can be of value to managers and policy makers.”

This fall, Kelley will teach in the two-year MBA program and in the Global Entrepreneurship Program, a one-year master’s degree in Global Entrepreneurship, during which students spend one-third of their time at each of EM Lyon in France, Zhejiang University in China, and Babson. At the undergraduate level, she will teach students who are spending their semester in three of the BRIC countries: Russia, China, and India. She will travel to Shanghai when they arrive there in late September to teach a course on entrepreneurship in China.

Kelley enjoys using her research to enrich the classroom at Babson—helping students gain a global perspective and be more attuned to cultural differences, while also preparing them to create opportunities and solve business challenges throughout the world.

As Kelley continues to build partnerships around the world, she spreads Babson’s mission with her wherever she goes. Each trip, each meeting, and each new relationship extends Babson’s global reach and builds the College’s reputation as the world leader in entrepreneurship education of all kinds.