McKenna Newsletter Fall 2022

Pr 11

News and Updates

Urban Poverty and Business Initiative Now in 26 Cities Worldwide

The Urban Poverty and Business Initiative (UPBI) was launched three years ago with the mission of providing a pathway out of poverty through entrepreneurship. The program is anchored in Notre Dame, headed by Dr. Michael Morris, who has spent more than 30 years working with people in poverty and disadvantaged circumstances.

Since the program's inception three years ago, the UPBI has expanded to 26 cities, including 6 internationally. The UPBI offers students a variety of opportunities to engage in a hands-on program that addresses a critical social challenge. Currently at Notre Dame, over 70 students are involved with the program each year.
Through the UPBI, participants are able to find a way out of the cycle of poverty, to pursue an opportunity about which they are passionate, and expand their skills and self-confidence in the process. Additionally, many of our entrepreneurs use this program and the businesses they develop to give back to their communities, either by offering employment opportunities to others, or meeting social needs such as anti-violence, food security, and youth mentorship.


Experiential Classroom

Nearly 90 university professors and leaders of non-profit organizations recently gathered in Tampa, FL for Experiential Classroom XXII, representing 40 universities and 14 non-profit organizations to learn from top practitioners in the field regarding best practices in entrepreneurship education.

The Experiential Classroom is the premier clinic for faculty from across the globe who are relatively new to the teaching of entrepreneurship and the building of entrepreneurship programs. Best practices in entrepreneurship education are shared by some of the thought leaders and master educators in the field.


Faculty Publications 

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How does Information about AI Regulation Affect Managers' Choices? 
Yong Suk Lee , assistant professor of technology, economy, and global affairs, has co-authored a report that discusses the way in which policymakers, scholars, and advocates have raised concerns as artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have become increasingly widespread over the last decade.









Drivers of Fragility in the Ventures of Poverty Entrepreneurs 

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Dr. Michael Morris, professor of the practice, has co-authored this study which examines whether and how the experience of poverty shapes the entrepreneurial journey and offers theoretical and practical suggestions for further understanding and fostering entrepreneurship as a viable solution to poverty.












Yong Suk Lee Recieves NSF Grant to Study AI Adoption and Implementation  

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Yong Suk Lee, assistant professor of technology, economy, and global affairs and a faculty affiliate of the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center (  (ND TEC), and several collaborators a grant to research how adopting AI impacts workers and productivity at small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs).


The Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, edited by Michael Morris at the University of Notre Dame, provides a forum for the dissemination of descriptive, empirical, and theoretical research that focuses on issues concerning microenterprise and small business development, especially under conditions of adversity.


Discovering South Africa While Making a Difference: The EESA Experience

This six-week summer program is offered through the McKenna Center and is a partnership with the University of Florida, the University of Colorado, and the University of the Western Cape. The purpose is to help historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the townships around Cape Town, South Africa build sustainable businesses. Undergraduate and graduate students are charged with helping these entrepreneurs ignite their entrepreneurial journeys.



GPPE Webinar: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the Poor: What are the Needs? Where are the Gaps? 

Attend the next webinar from the McKenna Center's Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship ( on Wednesday, November 16 at 11 a.m. (EST).


Pathways Out of Poverty

Four of the leading scholars in entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship recently gathered at Notre Dame to share perspectives on issues surrounding entrepreneurship as a poverty alleviation tool in Europe.