Conference to focus on emerging markets

Like any good Fort Worth host knows, the first thing on the agenda for international visitors is an evening at Billy Bob’s.The M.J. Neeley School of Business will play host to entrepreneurial experts from around the world attending a first-ever conference held on campus.

Garry Bruton, professor and academic director for the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, is coordinating the conference, which will focus on entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

“For emerging markets, entrepreneurship is the key to the future,” Bruton said. “That is where their economic growth comes from.”

As a result of fast-growing markets, underdeveloped economies such as Russia, China, India and Brazil are predicted to have larger economies than the United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany and Italy by the year 2050, Bruton said.

“What Garry has done is brought together extraordinary academic leaders from around the world to come and talk about research issues in entrepreneurship,” said Daniel Short, dean of the business school.

The conference starts tonight with dinner at Billy Bob’s to give the visitors a taste of Texas. Shaker Zahra, head of the entrepreneurship center at the University of Minnesota, will speak on the future of entrepreneurial research and present the first paper on the relationship between Islam and entrepreneurship.

On Friday, the conference will relocate to Smith Entrepreneurs Hall for academic presentations from international scholars about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Mike Hitt, editor of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, will speak on the future of entrepreneurial research and emerging markets.

“The truth is, if you get enough people doing business together, they never fight wars against each other,” Bruton said. “People have enough to eat and enough to dress their families, and so many of the world’s problems just disappear.”

Neeley’s networking and credibility will increase when the top entrepreneurship leaders see the facilities, faculty and students, Short said.

“They are going to leave thinking this is one terrific place,” he said.

Bruton said he received a lot of support from Short in promoting the conference.

“Garry Bruton came in and told me he wanted money so I gave it to him,” Short said. “He’s like my really old son who just comes in and tells me he wants money and I have to give it to him.