Campus - 08.07.2014 - 00:00 

Grass roots research in Brazil

The HSG hub in São Paulo links the University of St.Gallen to the World Cup host Brazil. One of its main focuses is to promote grass roots research on the current challenges and needs for South America. An overview.


8 July 2014. Back in 2010, the Center for Latin American Studies of the University of St.Gallen (CLS-HSG) dedicated a whole day to Brazil for the first time, inviting guest speakers and professors from the university to talk about diverse aspects and peculiarities of the country regarding the business environment and also about the cultural differences. Since then, Brazil has held a special position in the CLS and in the University of St.Gallen.

Opening of the hub in São Paulo
In June of the same year, the university opened a representative office in São Paulo, this being the second international hub of the HSG after Singapore. São Paulo was chosen for the HSG hub due to Brazil being the largest economy in Latin America, and for its potential as a BRIC country. Moreover, its strategic location within the Latin American continent allows easy access to Brazil’s neighbouring countries, which is in line with the purpose of the hub: to strengthen the university’s network in South America by coordinating and maintaining relevant relationships with partner universities, the academic community, the Swiss business community, alumni, HSG exchange students and local corporate partners.

Entrepreneurial behaviour beyond the classroom

Accordingly, the HSG hub São Paulo pursues a range of activities. One of the main focuses is to promote grass roots research on the current challenges and needs for South America in the areas of family business, impact investing, inclusive business, leadership, and intercultural management.

Besides that, the HSG hub also supports the HSG Cooperative Lab, a match-making platform between HSG students and SMEs in Latin America. The main objective of this initiative is to promote and develop entrepreneurial behaviour beyond the classroom. In the projects, students count on the support of HSG Alumni members as mentors to support the bridging process between academia and practice and the different business cultures. Many of these projects are being developed jointly with local partner universities and firms, and form an integral part of the research activities that were mentioned before. 

Knowledge Platform on impact investing

In December 2012, the Impact Investing Latin America Knowledge Platform (IILA) was launched in order to combine both the research and match-making activities. The platform provides a neutral, not-for-profit oriented interface that produces, transmits and disseminates insights in the area of impact investing. This is achieved either through academic research and publications or through the hands-on projects developed by students via the Cooperative Lab.

In fact, on 14 August 2014 the third conference on Impact Investing will be held in São Paulo. During this event, entrepreneurs, investors, companies, foundations, academics and students will have the chance to present the knowledge gained and share their experiences in said field.

Furthermore, the HSG hub São Paulo also provides various services in South America, particularly public lectures, working groups in strategic cooperation with companies, in-company training sessions and business study missions to a Latin American country.

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