- Robert R. Dockson Dean's Chair in Business Administration
- Professor of Management and Organization
Full-Time MBA Team Presents to APEC
Full-Time MBA Team Presents to APEC
Students presented in-depth findings on post-pandemic challenges facing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to business leaders.
Following rigorous research analyzing growth opportunities and challenges for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Marshall students and Professor of Clinical Management and Organization, Carl Voigt, presented their report and findings at the APEC Leaders Meeting in Bangkok over one week in November.
Each year, a select group of USC MBA students in the Full-Time program undertake an exhaustive research project on behalf of the business arm of the Asian Pacific Economics Council (APEC), known as ABAC (APEC Business Advisory Council). A unique opportunity to inform international leaders, Marshall is the only business school invited to present.
This year’s report is particularly crucial, as it provides a look at how MSMEs can succeed in a post-pandemic economy.
Most Business is Small
According to the data, most enterprises—between 95%-97%--are MSMEs and provide nearly 50% of all employment. However, many MSMEs run beneath the public radar, overshadowed by large firms.
However, this changed during the pandemic, when quarantine policies forced economies to recognize the importance of MSMEs because so many were shutting down and forcing people out of work, said Voigt.
“Those that survived were forced to become digital enterprises,” he said. “They began taking orders and payments digitally and delivering products via online interactions.”
A key finding of the MBA report is that the move to digital has improved the competitiveness of MSMEs. “The small size and focused expertise in many areas now makes them globally competitive,” said Voigt.
The Deep Dive
Full-Time MBA students volunteer their time and effort for the ABAC consulting project on top of their full school schedule. Through interviews with thought leaders, analysis of questionnaire responses from over 850 MSMEs and an extensive review of post-pandemic research, the Marshall team developed a scorecard as well as the following key findings:
These students volunteered to spend more than 3,000 hours as a team conducting more than 60 in-depth interviews, researching, analyzing data and writing this report. The results are predictably impressive. It’s no surprise that USC Marshall is the only MBA program invited to present to the business arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation since 2003.
The report also includes a suite of recommendations for policy makers and business leaders. Read the full report here.
This is the first in-person presentation since 2019 and is an exciting opportunity for Marshall MBA students to travel and demonstrate their expertise before senior business leaders.
“These students volunteered to spend more than 3,000 hours as a team conducting more than 60 in-depth interviews, researching, analyzing data and writing this report,” said Voigt, who is the longtime academic adviser for the ABAC team.
“The results are predictably impressive. It’s no surprise that USC Marshall is the only MBA program invited to present to the business arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation since 2003.”
APEC is an organization focused on promoting free trade and furthering economic growth among its 21 member nations spanning four continents, from Australia to China and Russia, from Chile and Papua New Guinea to the United States and Canada. APEC is the world’s largest regional cooperative, in a region that accounts for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population and nearly half of the world’s GDP.
USC Trustee Dominic Ng, who was appointed as a U.S. member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) on April 25, will serve as the chair during the United States’ APEC host year in 2023, the State Department announced. Read the USC News story here.
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