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Stetson Faculty Take Austrian Students on Economic Seminar

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Two faculty members from Mercer University Stetson School of Business & Economics recently led a two-week seminar exploring entrepreneurship in Florida and Cuba.

William Andrews, Ph.D. and Luis Paris, Stetson International Business faculty members, led the group of 20 students from Austria’s Management Center of Innsbruck. The two-week seminar, titled “Entrepreneurship and Culture” was designed to introduce students to the differences between Cuba’s emerging market and Central Florida thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“I was delighted with the way the program turned out,” Andrews said. “The students experienced some of Central Florida’s marquee entrepreneurship events including Orlando Venture Pitch, Start-up Quest, and Million Cups, while also getting briefings from the National Entrepreneurship Center, the Central Florida incubator network, and prominent entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.”

During the second half of the seminar, students traveled to Cuba. There they got to see first hand the results of the recent changes in US-Cuban relations. Cuba also recently relaxed restrictive commercial policies. These two factors have created an market that many are excited to see grow and change.

“We had some very informative briefings in Cuba,” Andrews said. “Our legal briefing with some of their most experienced lawyers helped us understand how business would be conducted under the new constitutional guidelines enacted last year. In general, projects of any size will have the Cuban government as the majority partner, but exceptions are possible. They have targeted certain sectors including biotech, informatics, agriculture and tourism as preferential sectors where an eight-year tax holiday is allowed.”

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