Notre Dame Launches New MENA Business Leadership Program

Author: Kevin Mann

The Pulte Institute, in association with international experts and partners at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, joined forces to establish the inaugural Reimagining Business Excellence program. Organized and hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s Global Gateway in Jerusalem with a goal-oriented, guided-learning curriculum, the program serves leaders and entrepreneurs who work and care for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“It was exciting to be part of a diverse group of amazing academics and entrepreneurs from Notre Dame and beyond to pilot this program,” said Pulte’s Entrepreneurship and Education Program Director Melissa Paulsen. “We are embracing Notre Dame as a force for good and the fact that the best learning is by doing.”

Melissa Paulsen, Reimagining Business Excellence

Paulsen leading a session during the inaugural Reimagining Business Excellence program

Drawing on cutting-edge research and solving real-world problems ranging from socially responsible business to sustainable entrepreneurship, members of the cohort found multi-faceted support from skilled professionals and one another. They also sharpened various business-related skills and tools, including human-centered design, to succeed in their various entrepreneurial endeavors.

The week-long session focused on group work and panel discussions to guide the exploration of challenges and new opportunities in business. The activities provided a foundation for strategic decision-making, ethics, and relevant regional knowledge to help participants identify the best way to achieve individual goals and objectives. Participants also engaged in a case study to understand how a marketing strategy for Rawabi — the first planned city built for and by Palestinians in the West Bank — could support the practical applicability of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. (Paulsen, Kristen Collett-Schmitt, and Jessica McManus Warnell of the Mendoza College of Business, and Daniel Schwake, the Executive Director of the University of Notre Dame at Tantur and the Jerusalem Global Gateway, authored the case study.)

“Our participants’ represented different backgrounds, skill sets, and industries; all, however, were focused on equity and prosperity in the MENA region. We supported their individual and business needs while cultivating common areas for collaboration and furthering The Common Good,” Paulsen said. “There is a palpable commitment from the team to continue to build this program together.”

Jerusalem Global Gateway / Pulte Institute (June 2023)

Reimagining Business Excellence participants and faculty at the University of Notre Dame at Tantur