Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265

Nov. 5, 2003

CONTACT: Dr. Sarfraz Mian, 312-3154


    OSWEGO -- Dr. Sarfraz Mian's expertise in small and medium enterprises as engines for economic growth and new job creation has him in demand around the world, but the professor of management at SUNY Oswego would like to apply his expertise locally.

    Mian says he sees tremendous need and tremendous potential in a region experiencing marked decline in manufacturing jobs that is also home to a college with a recognized School of Business. The school's forward-looking faculty and its new partnership with the Center for Business and Community Development in Rich Hall, he argues, hold opportunity for economic revitalization in Oswego County.

    "Just this year, Dr. Mian has had 13 invited appearances and consulting engagements from as far as Mexico, Canada, Pakistan and two recent invitations from Germany," says Dr. Paula Bobrowski, chair of the marketing and management department.

    Mian will spend two months this summer at the University of Osnabrueck in Germany participating in teaching, research and conferences related to new venture creation. SUNY Oswego has a 10-year-old exchange agreement with the University of Osnabrueck.

    Two other institutions in Germany have invited him to share his expertise while he is there -- the University of Regensburg and Humboldt University's Institute for Entrepreneurship Studies and Innovation Management in Berlin.

    "They want to learn about my research with NAFTA," the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mian says.

    "We need jobs in developing countries and in developed countries, too," he says. "New venture creation is the burning issue in this area. I think Oswego could be a good place to have something like that to develop the economy.

    "That's an American trait -- to start your own business and be free and independent," he continues. "We can cultivate that spark and develop a community that can see the opportunity and pull it together. If we can attract people here and keep them here, they can do wonders."

    Mian argues for private-public partnerships. "It is the public sector who has the interest of the people in mind and who can take the larger view," he says. He cites the need for "a rallying focal point where people can cluster" and concludes that "the best place is an educational institution."

    The symbolic clustering place he envisions might be the Business Commons that is part of the plan for Rich Hall, says Nancy Bellow, director of the Center for Business and Community Development.

    Located in the same building since August, the School of Business and her center have been meeting monthly to identify how the center can bring the experience of area businesspeople to benefit the school's academic programs and how Oswego's business faculty can help develop local business and economic activity, Bellow says.

    Mian envisions a partnership that will link the knowledge base of the college with the available community resources to create "a sustainable entrepreneurial development system."

    As one step in that direction, the school began offering a graduate course in entrepreneurship two years ago.

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