GBSN at 20

GBSN mobilized 20 years ago with a clear focus—to elevate emerging markets by increasing human capacity to manage resources and productively lead teams. A portfolio of successful projects evolved into GBSN’s current network of impact-minded business schools, businesses, NGOs, and governments. The network is enthusiastically committed to the future success of the developing world and embraces its role as an enabler—accelerating innovation, augmenting capabilities, and amplifying impact. Join us in celebrating!

Celebrate our impact and build our future with a donation to GBSN’s FUTURE Fund.

From Our Founder

CEO and Founder

“In over 40 years as a development economist at the World Bank I saw vast amounts of money, resources and human potential go to waste. It wasn’t just money these emerging markets needed, but human capacity to effectively manage resources and productively lead teams.

Looking around, I found few efforts to build management education for developing nations. And I knew that to end the cycle of poverty, these emerging markets countries needed leaders who could apply international best practice with local relevance.

From this, the Global Business School Network (GBSN) was born. Starting as a program of the International Finance Corporation at the World Bank, where I was Chief Economist at the time, we began with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Today GBSN is an independent 501(c)3 organization with member schools on 6 continents and a global mission.”

Guy Pfeffermann
IFC Chief Economist: 1988-2006


The Global Business School Network (GBSN) launched in 2003 as a program of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the World Bank. The impetus: vast amounts of money, resources, and human potential go to waste due to poor management. It was not just money that emerging markets needed also but human capacity to effectively manage resources and productively lead teams; and there was too little attention to expanding and improving management education.

For 17 years, GBSN pursued its original purpose by leading and participating in a large number of international development projects designed to increase management education capacity. For example, GBSN aided in developing a “Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management” in Nigeria. And that became a model for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program. GBSN worked on studies for business schools in Bangladesh and Pakistan. It was instrumental in establishing the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). Through these examples and many more like them, GBSN has made a big difference improving management and entrepreneurship throughout the developing world.

To do its pioneering development projects, GBSN established a solid network of business schools which still is dedicated to the original vision and mission. This network has grown to nearly 150 leading business schools in more than 50 countries. It is also becoming more diverse, connecting business schools to a wider set of powerful organizations, like businesses, NGOs, and governments, who share the original vision for the developing world to have the talent it needs to generate prosperity.

Today GBSN is an independent 501(c)3 organization based Washington, D.C., and has member schools, participants, and partners on six continents. Its original success, has not only made GBSN a highly respected organization, it has also established the network as catalyst for generating prosperity globally, as well as in the developing world. And that is especially important at this critical time given of shifting age demographics, automation, climate change, widening inequality, and more.

Global Partners

Meet some of GBSN’s past and current partner organizations. The full Global Business School Network consists of members, participants, and partners. 

IMPACT Stories

Through its programs, conferences, and events, GBSN has fostered a global network of educators and institutions, driving positive change and advancements in business education. By emphasizing the importance of diversity, social responsibility, and sustainable practices, GBSN has contributed to shaping the future of management education, equipping students with the skills and mindset needed to tackle complex challenges.

We’re excited to celebrate two decades of enabling business schools  to profoundly impact sustainable development worldwide—through education, research, and community engagement. To mark this milestone, we’re calling on our network to showcase stories and experiences of individuals who have been impacted by our organization.

Whether you’re a beneficiary, volunteer, employee, or supporter, we want to hear from you! Share your personal journey, inspiring anecdotes, and the ways in which our organization has made a lasting impact on your life or the lives of others. Your stories will help us reflect on the incredible achievements of the past 20 years.

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