History

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 over 100 leading business schools in more than 50 countries. It is also becoming more diverse, connecting business schools to a wider set of powerful organizations (e.g. 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, DC, 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.


From Our 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.”

Guy Pfeffermann
IFC Chief Economist: 1988-2006

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.

Since 2003, we have been a leader in promoting management education as a critical component in successful international development.

GBSN’s members are a selected group of top international business schools committed to using the power of business to create a better world. Our network connects these leaders in business education with each other and with corporations, NGOs, civil society and educators in emerging markets looking to grow.

Through networking opportunities and capacity building programs, the network, including our Corporate Leadership Council and foundation partners, advance management education. Together we strengthen the next generation of leaders for the developing world.

I hope you will join us in our work, as a network grows exponentially stronger with every new partner. Whether you are a leading business school, corporation, NGO, foundation, student or school looking to build your own capacity, I invite you to get involved.