Putting the European Debt Crisis into Perspective

The European debt crisis has seriously affected the economies of the European Union in the past five years, imperiling the very existence of the continent’s groundbreaking monetary union and tarnishing the reputation of the economic block that was considered a competitor to the United States for global dominance just a few years ago. Mihaylo Economics Professor Huiran Pan, author of the 2012 study, Government Debt in the Euro Area – Evidence from Dynamic Factor Analysis, shares insight into the state of the European economies for business students.

Map showing the severity of the European debt crisis by country

Map showing the severity of the European debt crisis by country

In the past five years, many countries in Europe have been suffering through a debt crisis that has jeopardized the future of European economic integration and has at the very least provided a reality check about the feasibility of a common currency. Beginning in Greece in 2009, the debt crisis spread to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and other countries by 2011, driving a wedge between the economically healthy nations of Europe, such as Germany, with their troubled neighbors. While the Euro Zone has demonstrated a rebound in the past two years, the clouds of the recent crisis hang over the economic union that once was considered a serious rival to the United States as an economic superpower.

Professor Huiran Pan

Professor Huiran Pan

Mihaylo Economics Professor Huiran Pan authored a 2012 study, Government Debt in the Euro Area – Evidence from Dynamic Factor Analysis, in which she examined the pattern of burgeoning government debt levels, as compared to GDP, in the European economies since integration, eventually leading to the debt crisis.

Pan says that government debt is not always a bad thing; only when it reaches unsustainable levels is there cause for concern. “Reasonable government spending accelerates economic growth by creating more jobs or improving public infrastructures to facilitate production,” she says. “Too much government spending or outstanding government debt causes debt crises and economic downturn if the government is unable to repay the debt.”

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Entrepreneur Society: No Risk, No Reward

Entrepreneur Society

CSUF Entrepreneur Society

Do you dream to one day be your own boss? Entrepreneur Society will grant you the skills and resources you need to start your own business.

The Entrepreneur Society (ES) prepares students who are interested in starting their own business by exposing them to the hands-on side of enterprise. ES is open to all majors and encourages ambitious, passionate people. Hands-on learning is fostered through guest-speaker events, company tours, mixers and networking events. ES strives to provide students with the support and skills to create, launch and grow new ventures.

Andrea Wang ’16 (entertainment & tourism) is president of the society, and she ran for the leadership position because she wanted to improve ES operations and motivate members. “The club has helped me gain much more confidence in myself and push myself even more. I think just seeing my members excited and taking away something from each meeting has made me realize that it’s definitely worth the time,” she says. Her goal is to help students realize that entrepreneurship is not as scary or “impossible” as it may be perceived. She strongly believes that anyone can reach where they want to be if they take slow, efficient steps. “If by the end of the semester, everyone is one step closer to their dream, then I know we’ve accomplished our goal,” Wang says.

Entrepreneur Society holds a number of social and professional events throughout the year. During the spring semester, they host the Small Business Bash which is a vendor fair for CSUF students and local business owners. It gives small business owners the opportunity to sell their products, market to students and promote their business. In the past, the Small Business Bash has sponsored more than 30 vendors. In addition, the club members work together to host fundraisers such as hot dog sales and holiday-themed events to fund their events. Creating these events help them develop organizational and planning skills.

Entrepreneur Society attends a Zappos retreat

Entrepreneur Society attends a Zappos retreat

The society also helps spark the entrepreneurial spirit in its members with trips to local start-ups in Southern California, many of which have attained recognition for their accomplishments in Orange County, including Zappos, Orig Audio, Fast Start Studio, and Bootlegger’s Brewery. These visits allow ES members to network with successful entrepreneurs and gain real-world knowledge.

ES member Murdoc Hardy ‘16 (marketing) reflects on his experience in the club. “I decided to join Entrepreneur Society when I first came to Cal State Fullerton to meet more people and make friends,” he says. “Being involved in ES has allowed me to improve vastly on my communication skills both in a professional and casual sense. The club has helped me think beyond the idea and see myself in a business sense as well.”

Entrepreneur Society abides by the statement, “No Risk No Reward,” to encourage students to put themselves out there and to make a connection that will benefit them in the future. “As long as you are willing to take that baby step in the right direction, you can work your way towards accomplishing any goal,” states Wang.

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Taco Bell: Winning the World Over, One Taco at a Time

Klara Farkas

Klara Farkas

Klara Farkas ’89, founder and principal of the consulting firm Klarity International and former global marketing director for Taco Bell International, will be a guest speaker at the Global Speaker Series on Wednesday, Nov. 5, presented by the Center for International Business and Department of Marketing. 

Klara Farkas ’89 knows the fast-food business. For seven years, she was global marketing director for Taco Bell International, one of the world’s premier fast-food chains with 6,500 restaurants around the world, mostly in the United States. The chain is a subsidiary of Irvine-based YUM! Brands Inc., which operates Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and Wing Street brands around the world.

Farkas helped lead the global expansion of Taco Bell, which under her tenure expanded into 12 new international markets, including India, Korea, Spain and the United Arab Emirates, introducing the world to the chain’s Tex-Mex cuisine. Through this expansion, Farkas demonstrated the importance of acting locally to succeed in global branding, creating design concepts, menu boards and products that would resonate with international audiences.

A Mihaylo international business graduate, Farkas also has a graduate degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix. This year, she founded Klarity International, a consulting enterprise that advises individuals and companies in brand marketing.

Students and members of the business community are invited to hear Farkas discuss her career and marketing advice at Taco Bell: Winning the World Over, One Taco at a Time at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at SGMH 3230. For more information, contact the Center for International Business at 657- 278-3329 or cib@fullerton.edu, or contact the Department of Marketing at 657-278-2705 or ilange@fullerton.edu.

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New On-Campus Fraternity Supports Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Founding members of Sigma Upsilon Mu

Founding members of Sigma Upsilon Mu

Sigma Upsilon Mu, a new co-ed fraternity at CSUF, supports Mihaylo students through entrepreneurial brainstorming and development opportunities. Fraternity president Miguel Olivares discusses the benefits and programs offered by his organization.

Specifically designed for aspiring entrepreneurs, Sigma Upsilon Mu is Mihaylo’s newest co-ed fraternity and was founded in March 2014. “Our mission is to create a community of passionate entrepreneurs who motivate each other to succeed and hold themselves accountable to our values,” says Miguel Olivares, the fraternity’s president. “Students participating in our programs will learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and leadership.”

Olivares explains that the fraternity offers three major programs:  the Pledge Program, the Challenge Program and the Start-Up Weekend Retreat. Students must complete the Pledge Program prior to involvement in the Challenge Program or Start-Up Weekend Retreat.

The Pledge Program is an eight-week program in which students attend weekly meetings to learn and apply various aspects of entrepreneurship. “We start by brainstorming ideas and covering what investors look for in an idea, then move to validating a business concept and eventually studying how to prepare a minimum viable product and pitch it to investors,” says Olivares. “Our goal is to create actual business ideas, test them and bring them to the market.”

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New Business Incubator Program in Placentia to Assist Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The founders of the Center for Innovation at the new Placentia facility

The founders of the Center for Innovation at the new Placentia facility

Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship is preparing to open the Center for Innovation, the first CSUF business incubator, in Placentia. The business incubator will utilize entrepreneurs in residence and industry-experienced mentors affiliated with the Center for Entrepreneurship to guide aspiring business start-ups into viable business models.

Students at CSU Fullerton often aspire to start their own businesses, yet attaining the skills, resources and knowledge to succeed can be a daunting task.

“It is my observation that we have many outstanding entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas at CSUF; with proper support and coaching for the entrepreneurs, these ideas could become viable businesses, “John Bradley Jackson, director of Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, says. Three years ago, he wrote the business plan for the Center for Innovation, an off-campus business incubator that will open in nearby Placentia by mid-November.

Established through a partnership with the City of Placentia, which provided the small building at 120 South Bradford, the center will be a “mixed-use incubator.” Jackson explains: “This means that we do not specialize in a certain type of industry. We are looking for innovative ideas that are scalable, meaning capable of growing to a large company. The scalability requirement favors companies that build repeatable products rather than direct labor businesses.”

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Posted in Center for Entrepreneurship, Centers of Excellence, Economics, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Faculty Spotlight, Innovative Teaching, Leadership, Mihaylo Student Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment