Author(s): Russell McKenzie, Tara B. Lopez and Aristides R. Baraya
For more than fifteen years, Southeastern Louisiana University has been working with the Latin American Community through the University’s Latin American Business Development Initiative (LABDI) program. The purpose of the LABDI is to strengthen and stimulate entrepreneurship and leadership skills among citizens in Latin American countries and the American Hispanic Community, as well as to develop closer international relations between the United States and Latin American countries. The LABDI has developed strategic partnerships with government agencies, universities, chambers of commerce, business leaders, and non-profit organizations in Louisiana and Latin America. Through these partnerships, LABDI has been able to truly enhance opportunities for Latin Americans abroad and the American Hispanic Community. The LABDI has also been able to broaden the scope of its impact as a result of the enhanced relationship between the State of Louisiana and Hispanic countries. The purpose of this article is to describe the LABDI’s approach to developing partnerships and creating impactful programs to support others who may be interested in similar programs at their universities. This article will also highlight the significant contributions of LABDI on Southeastern’s campus and with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean region.