Fall 2019 - 59100 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2019 - 59100 - PA 680PA - Policy Research Project

Rural Entrepreneurship in the US and Asia

On Enrollment in Sections

There are three “sections” in this course. Enrollment is open to LBJ School MGPS and MPAff students. If there are an insufficient number of LBJ School students, the class will be open to any graduate student at UT Austin. The maximum number of students in each of the three sections will be an Asia section- 8 students; a Mexico section- 5 students; an US and Texas section- 8 students. The instructors hope that Graduate Advisors for the GPS and MPAFF programs can implement limits on section size.

Section 1: Rural and Small City Entrepreneurship in Asia (Section Limit: 8)

Eaton plans two “think and do” field studies for UT graduate students addressing small city and rural entrepreneurship in Asia for 2019-20.

For Fall 2019-20 (with a field component in during August 18-26, 2019), Eaton has arranged for 8 Japanese government (JASSO) fellowships to support field study of rural and entrepreneurship and  ecotourism in the Oosaki Islands in the Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan based at Oosaki Simojima, Kure-city, Hiroshima Prefecture, (https://sectouchitrip.com/history/1474). These islands, located relatively close to major cities, can be reached by rail and ferry. They are famous for their beauty, natural resources (forests, farms and fish), but have become depopulated through out-migration. Hiroshima University (UT) will cover field program expenses of an in-situ assessment of the potential for locally-owned and operated ecotourism businesses and other small-to-medium businesses that could employ existing residents, attract new employees and create local wealth and jobs. UT graduate students will have all personal local costs in Japan covered through the JASSO grants, as well as a portion of the international travel costs (or they can use funds for other personal costs). Participants will themselves need to raise at least a portion of their international travel costs. Professor Eaton will assist students with the fundraising.

Spring 2020: The second field study will be in Goa, India during February 18 to 28, 2020 involving HU and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), both institutions with which the LBJ School has a record of cooperation. The project in Spring 2020 will focus on Goa, India on small urban and rural entrepreneurship and ecotourism. HU and IIM-A will cover field program expenses. UT graduate students will need to raise funds to cover international travel, lodging and food for an intensive ten-day field study in Goa, or up to approximately $1500. Professor Eaton will assist students in the fundraising.

Section #1 limit is 8 persons. Priority for section admission should be given to anyone who speaks Japanese or any language of South Asia.

Section #2: Entrepreneurship in Mexico (Section Limit: 5)
Ex-Post Evaluation of Entrepreneurship in Mexico

For more than 20 years the Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC2) has worked with institutions in Mexico to promote entrepreneurship. This project will evaluate the outcomes from these investments and programs. In 1999, Dr. George Kozmetsky initiated IC2’s first Mexico program ‘Shared Binational Regional Prosperity” through a Cross Border Institute for Regional Development (CBIRD), involving the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, Monterrey Tech, IC2 at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). Dr. Kozmetsky’s vision was to create “a knowledge-based technology-linked region through new institutional alliance and public private partnership.” A second IC2 program has been the “Technology Commercialization” joint degrees program offered with Monterrey Tech (2010 to present) that has graduated over 250 persons who seek to initiate technology transfer and entrepreneurship activity in Mexico. A third IC2 Mexico program has been the “TECHBA” ten-year, co-incubation project across Mexico with FUMEC, enabling Mexican mid-sized companies to find a US market or US capital. A fourth program has been IDEA, a project with the State of Nuevo Leon to accelerate Mexican companies to enter US markets. A fifth IC2  program in Mexico has been a set of technology transfer efforts involving IC2 with diverse Mexican universities and businesses.  A sixth IC2 activity in Mexico has been I-CORPS.  There have been over 450 individuals and/or companies who have participated in one or more of these programs.

This project will cooperate closely with IC2 Institute staff and affiliates who have worked on these Mexican projects, including:

  • Carlos Ross (Head of CIGE in Monterrey)
  • Carlos Sheek Mayenberger (Professor Emeritus at EGADE)
  • Alex Ibarra ( Professor at Monterrey Tech)
  • Pablo Rhi-Perez (Professor of Entrepreneurship at UT Brownsville),
  • David Gibson (current IC2 Institute staff member)
  • Elsie Echeverri-Carroll (current IC2 Institute staff member

The project deliverable will be a report on the outcomes of IC2 Institute efforts to promote Mexican entrepreneurship. The project will use four primary sources of data to develop the ex-post evaluation:

  • Previous surveys with Mexico program participants conducted by the IC2 Institute (such as the MSTC McCombs surveys)
  • Any materials on the web/internet about any of the persons or firms that participated in IC2 activities.
  • Interview notes from all Mexican persons/organizations willing to be interviewed
  • A survey of any Mexican persons/organizations willing to complete a survey

During the 2019-20 academic year, this project will contact each of the persons and firms for whom contact information is available that have been involved with IC2 entrepreneurship programs to assess outcomes of such cooperation. The project will evaluate the qualitative and quantitative outcomes of these programs, economic impacts of these persons and firms in Mexico, and any returns on investments.

The Mexico section limit is 5 persons. Students ought not register without some capacity to read and speak Spanish, as most classwork will use Spanish. Funds are available for student travel to Monterrey or Mexico City, as needed, including air travel, lodging, and meals.

Section 3: Domestic Component: Rural and Small City Entrepreneurship in Texas and the USA

(Section 8 Limit is 8 persons)

Co-Instructor: possibly Carlos Ross or David Gibson of IC2
Co-Instructor: Heath Prince, Ph.D., Ray Marshall Center Director

This 2019-20 Policy Research Project section will develop tools and insights and assess policy options to improve economic conditions in rural Texas and the U.S. One project component will be to develop with colleagues in The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Innovation, Creativity and Capital (IC²) a nationwide database to document demographic, economic, health, education and social factor information related to economic conditions in rural areas and small cities in Texas and in the USA, to enable research on rural entrepreneurship. A second project component will be to co-organize with IC² colleagues a national conference on rural and small city entrepreneurship. The conference will identify key priorities for research on policy options to enable rural residents to create rural employment and wealth. A third-class component will be to use the national database to examine policy issues related to success in entrepreneurship. A fourth component will be to work with local leadership in a Texas small city/town in a rural region to develop ideas for an entrepreneurship ‘case study’ in Texas to test whether workforce development, education on entrepreneurship, capital, networking, public promotion and local leadership can enhance production of local jobs and wealth.

The Texas/US section limit is 8 persons. Funds are available for domestic travel.

Class Schedule: 
M 6:00PM to 9:00PM
SRH 3.316/3.350