June 23, 2015 Reading Time: 2 minutes

Steven Pressman and Natalia Smirnova.

Operating a small business is one way poor people in less developed countries support themselves and their families.

Learning Initiatives, a non-profit non-governmental organization, has developed a highly successful program where U.S. high school students, working in teams, provide advice to a small business in Africa, such as a fish farm or an auto repair shop.

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, AIER Visiting Research Fellow Steven Pressman will serve as an expert consultant to these student teams and will answer questions from U.S. students who are advising people starting their own businesses in Nigeria and Ghana. Students will ask him questions about the economy and its impact on businesses, as well as how to run a business more efficiently, and how to tackle problems.

Pressman will call upon his extensive experience as an economist and chief financial officer of a professional association to answer their questions, and enable each team to provide better guidance to the struggling small business firms with which they are working.

Past students who have taken part in the program, the Global Young Innovators Initiative, have improved water purification systems, taught computer literacy, helped start and support small businesses, and designed educational programs – all while honing the skills needed to lead the next generation of creative problem solvers and innovative thinkers.

Pressman’s work with Learning Initiatives supports AIER’s research agenda, which includes helping small businesses maintain and improve their performance. It also supports AIER’s education mission, which includes developing the economic intelligence of the younger generation.

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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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