Master Business Paper

Question

o Please read the “Stretch the Mission” Case.
o Should Helena agree to opening an office in Miami? Why, or why not?
o Read the comment by Linda Rottenberg on p.116. Do you agree with her? Why?
o Make sure to use the concepts from class in your answers. Add 1 chart

Answer

Stretch the Mission

Helena is torn between maintaining her company’s initial goal of focusing on emerging economies and expanding into Miami which satisfies some of her expansion requirements. Having built a successful non-profit organization that would support high-potential entrepreneurs in Latin America, she draws much of her inspiration and ideas from her hometown Miami which has a very wide range of cultures and over one million Latin Americans. Helena should stick to her initial motivation by opening a Unamano office in Miami.

This expansion to Miami should not be a biased decision based on background and time growing up in Miami. Rather, it should be centered on identifying the characteristics that are central to her business model. So far, Miami seems to satisfy the requirements for her company’s model on many levels: A large Latin American population (See Fig. 1 below), a robust middle class, university-educated citizens and a group of influential local entrepreneurs committed to boosting local entrepreneurship. The American city seems to have all these factors in place and has gained notoriety as a difficult place to drive entrepreneurial activity and attract funding for start-ups.

Fig. 1: A table showing population statistics for Miami City, Florida, in 2010 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).

Unamano’s mission statement is specifically to support high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging countries. For this reason, Helena as well as half the organization’s board members and stakeholders consider a Miami affiliate as a diversion from the company’s core principles. However, Helena should learn from other non-profits that have expanded their U.S. operations despite initially defining principles geared towards exclusively targeting emerging economies. Moreover, for these non-profit organizations, the perceived hindrances and disadvantages of the move have instead turned into benefits.

Having received funding pledges of up to $3 million from local moguls to open an affiliate in Miami, Helena must realize that expansion to legitimately struggling US cities will increase the company’s credibility and provide more resources and business partners not only for their US affiliates but also for their international and emerging markets. Despite having a very strong growth per capita that exceeds that of other emerging markets where Unamano operates, Miami’s business environment is very unfavorable for entrepreneurs. Thus, many of them prefer to migrate to other U.S. locations where chances of entrepreneurial survival are higher such as New York, Boston and Silicon Valley.

Unamano’s expansion to Miami will provide a strong basis for the transference of American entrepreneurial practices to the emerging markets as well as the co-option of successful emerging-markets entrepreneurial practices into the city’s entrepreneurial environment. This move will entail a deep exchange o business models, financial support and social support models. Finally, the move should be implemented with a keen focus on reaching their target of 25 emerging countries by 2020 by putting in place restrictions to prevent excessive diversion of resources to Miami and other qualifying U.S. cities.

Linda Rottenberg, who runs a non-profit similar to Helena’s, was also faced with the same expansion predicament for Miami. I support her view that Helena should embrace the idea of opening a Miami office while simultaneously preparing to scale up capacity for operations in other U.S. cities. In her own case, Rottenberg managed to convince most of her board members and partners to consider and study the idea with an open mind and even to have her company analyze the pros and cons of such a decision. The detailed investigation revealed that Miami lacked the scale-up support that was important for entrepreneurial progress and finally agreed to make the move to Miami. Linda explains that neither did the perceived resistance from international affiliates materialize nor was the organization’s brand compromised. Helena should embrace Rottenberg’s counsel since it is based on first-hand experience based on a similar dilemma.

Moreover, I support Rottenberg’s view that the challenges facing entrepreneurs in emerging markets are basically the same ones confronting struggling American cities. This observation holds as true and is evidenced by the fact that her organization has applied most of her international solutions to American cities with minimal adjustments and they have proved to be quite successful. Thus, Unamano should skillfully carry out a careful analysis of the Miami entrepreneurship market before and during entry to ensure a smooth application of their model.

Works Cited

U.S. Census Bureau. Quick Facts: Miami City, Florida. 2010. Web.

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