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SIUE International Business Research Projects

The International Trade Center (ITC) and the School of Business at SIUE invite you to participate in a MBA course project that focuses on emerging markets. Emerging markets refer to countries where the economy is fast growing but market institutions are under-developed. The most well-known emerging markets are the “BRICS” countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Other frequently mentioned emerging economies include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam. This course project is open to all countries that can be considered as emerging markets.

What is this project about? This project is part of an MBA course titled “Competing in Emerging Markets”. Students are required to work as a consulting team to help a client company to: (1) analyze the institutional and business environment of selected emerging markets to identify business opportunities and risks; (2) analyze the competitive environment (e.g. major competitors) of the client’s business in the selected countries; (3) make recommendations regarding the client company’s business prospects and strategies in these selected countries.

How may this project benefit the client company? Each client company will receive a report that contains thorough analyses of selected emerging markets and recommendations catered to the client company’s business. The report will provide useful information about those markets, but more importantly, it will include analyses about how the institutional environment in each emerging market may affect businesses in that market.

What is expected from the client company? The client company is expected to: (1) provide information about its business so that the students can gain a good understanding of the client company’s products and business model (no financial information is needed except for basic information such as sales, number of employees, etc.); (2) communicate with the students regarding the company’s plans/goals for doing business in emerging markets; (3) provide feedback to the final report that the students will prepare. All teams in the class will present their report during the last class period. We strongly encourage the client company to send a representative to attend the presentation (either physically or virtually through video conference).  

What are the criteria to participate? Companies which have been doing business internationally and have special interest in emerging markets are encouraged to participate. We particularly prefer companies which are interested in establishing subsidiaries (either fully or partially owned) in emerging markets.



Companies respond to the invitation


Teams paired with client companies


Teams work with client companies to collect needed information


Teams work on the analyses and recommendations, communicating with the client company as needed


Team presentations

Course Instructor: Dr. Yuping Zeng will be the instructor of the course. She received her Ph.D. from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University in China and did her post-doctoral research program in Ohio State University. Dr. Zeng's expertise includes mergers and acquisitions in transitional economies, organizational learning in foreign direct investment, institution transition and firm's strategic response, and internationalization of Chinese firms.  She has presented papers at various annual meetings, including the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business and the Strategic Management Society. Dr. Zeng currently teaches Strategic Management and International Business courses at SIUE.

All participants in this course will be assisted by the staff from the International Trade Center.  Confidentiality agreements will be signed by all students and faculty. To apply, contact us at or via phone at 618-650-3851. 

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The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a service to Illinois small businesses

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