Keough School of Global Affairs awarded for Urban Poverty and Business Initiative

Author: Kirianna West

Mike Morris Press Photo
Michael Morris

The McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business, part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, received the 2023 Entrepreneurship Practice Award for its Urban Poverty and Business Initiative (UPBI) from the Academy of Management. The award recognizes research programs that are significantly advancing the practice of entrepreneurship and was presented at the academy’s annual meeting in Boston.

The program, overseen by the Keough School’s professor of the practice Michael Morris, helps low-income and disadvantaged entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses. Over the past four years, UPBI has expanded to 32 partner cities in urban areas worldwide, from Ahmedabad, India, to San Diego. The McKenna Center coordinates the network and provides support to the partner cities.

“We are proud to receive this recognition from the academy for this young and growing program,” Morris said. “UPBI is not just helping over 2,000 disadvantaged entrepreneurs a year; the program is transforming the classroom by exposing students to entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty while also producing a steady stream of scholarly research.”

UPBI addresses six critical components — training, one-on-one consulting, mentoring, resource connect, microcredit and research/tracking — as part of an intervention that unfolds over 11 months each year. In addition to coordinating the work of the UPBI partners, the McKenna Center operates the South Bend UPBI affiliate, the South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program, which helps 70 entrepreneurs a year to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

For more information on the Urban Poverty and Business Initiative, visit or contact Susan McDonald at

Contact: Tracy DeStazio, associate director of media relations, 574-631-9958 or

Originally published by Kirianna West at on Aug. 22.