You are here

Message from the Faculty Director

Nelson Fraiman
Columbia Business School
Director of the ECLA program

Back in 2007 when we first began thinking about a program for Latin American entrepre­neurs at Columbia Business School I didn’t realize I was embarking on one of the most exciting trips of my career.

ECLA was generated by a group of professors who were interested in Latin America and en­trepreneurship. It took us a couple of years to put it together, but in January 2009 we welcomed at Columbia 17 companies with 37 entrepreneurs coming from seven different countries. All these companies were different in size and scope and all 37 entrepreneurs were from different backgrounds, but they all shared two strong interests: Latin America and the desire to grow across borders, which are the essence of the ECLA program.

Columbia Business School has three focal points: entrepreneurship, internationalization and the implementation of theory with practice. Through ECLA we have embraced these focal points to create a program tailored to Latin America and to the entrepreneurial spirit. We have succeed­ed in fusing theoretical knowledge with concrete practice. Yet recognition is also accorded to the fact that entrepreneurs live and breathe their companies. They can’t be separated from them.

Now four years into the program and with two ECLA classes graduated, we are certain of the very positive impact the program has. ECLA companies are growing faster and advancing beyond their original markets, they are transforming themselves into highly competitive companies, they are continuously improving their businesses and are ready to expand across borders.

From the start, we knew we were launching something innovative and rewarding, but what none of us involved in the design of the program would have anticipated is that, as well as an ex­ceptional program, we were also creating a large family. We haven’t merely provided a networking environment, but we have given birth to a family in which people don’t compete but help each other. ECLA is now about to form its third class and I am very pleased to see that the two first ECLA classes have strong ties, not only within each class but also across the two classes. Furthermore, they are now getting involved in the new class we are about to form. We have entrepreneurs from ECLA doing business together, helping each other to expand into new markets, investing into each other’s’ businesses, and, of course, building strong friendships.

The success of the program has motivated us to continue improving it. We have formed a knowledgeable advisory board with senior people from industry, faculty members, and successful entrepreneurs. With their feedback and enthusiasm, we are about to launch yet another unique initiative that will take ECLA a few steps further and will benefit both the school and the entre­preneurs.

For the faculty at the school, ECLA has become an energizing source of new ideas for teaching and research. Furthermore, it provides a challenging opportunity for professors to work with real companies and to develop cases and examples relevant in other classes.

We are very proud of what has been achieved with ECLA so far, and we very much look for­ward to continuing this wonderful program and expanding our ECLA family.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know how to contact us? Or what we have to offer? Try here first.

Expand >

The Chazen Institute does not have members; most of our programs are open to anyone. All current students and faculty receive our mailings.


Email us at chazen@columbia.edu, or call 212-854-4750. Our mailing address is Columbia Business School, 3022 Broadway, Uris Hall 2M2, New York, NY 10027. Our fax number is 212-851-9509.


Simply email us at chazen@columbia.edu and let us know you'd like to be added to our list. To subscribe to Chazen Global Insights, our e-newsletter, click here.


Winter study tours are announced in May; spring tours are announced in October. Check our study tour page for updates.


Alumni are welcome at most of the events we sponsor. Alumni can also learn another language through the Chazen Language Program. Be sure to sign up for the Chazen Institute email list on the alumni website to receive notification of upcoming events.

< Collapse

Chazen Global Insights

Is Australia on the Wrong Track?

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended many of his government’s reforms by invoking the American model of cutbacks on spending.

Read More >

Beyond China: Where Asian Growth Is

For investors and deal-makers, there is ample opportunity beyond China and India said Changyong Rhee of the IMF at a recent Chazen Institute event.

Read More >

Creating a Learning Society

Virtually every government policy, intentionally or not, has direct and indirect effects on learning, says Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz

Read More >

India's New Prime Minister: What Needs to Happen Now

Two Columbia University professors who are authors of a new award-winning book discuss what's at stake.

Read More >

Tunisia's Fight for Democracy

The new Prime Minister explains how revolution is leading to freedom and a country of laws.

Read More >

Turkey's Hot-Money Problem

Ongoing financial volatility in emerging economies is fueling debate about whether the so-called “Fragile Five” — Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey — should be viewed as victims of their excessive integration into global financial markets.

Read More >

Reforming China's State-Market Balance

Many of China’s problems today stem from too much market and too little government, says Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz.

Read More >

One Europe, One Banking System

Could it happen? What are the benefits and obstacles? Two prominent Euro economists go head-to-head.

Read More >

Lessons from Portugal

Former Finance Minister Vítor Gaspar opens up about his resignation last summer and the hope he still holds for his economically challenged country.

Read More >

Upcoming Events

Registration open for Chazen language classes until Sept. 9.
Get more information > Register for classes >

Sept. 4: Chazen Institute info session for CBS students. 12:30 p.m., Uris 307

Sept 9: Information session for CBS students interested in organizing a Winter Study Tour. 12:30 p.m., Uris 142