Wilkes University


Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy To Speak at International Council on Small Business Knowledge Summit May 11 at United Nations

Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy will be among the speakers at the United Nations on May 11at the International Council on Small Business High Level Knowledge Summit. The event is being held to commemorate the adoption of the U.N. resolution establishing the Micro- Small and Medium-sized Enterprises International Day (MSMEs Day).  The day, which will be observed annually on June 27, recognizes the contributions and value of micro-, small- and medium-sized business in economic development and reducing poverty in countries around the world. The May 11 event takes place from 3 to 6 p.m.

Wilkes will be part of a select group of colleges and universities that are founding members supporting the MSMEs International Day. The group includes George Washington University, Babson College and a few others. A group of Wilkes students also will attend the event.

Leahy said that the U.N. invitation reflects Wilkes’ strong commitment to entrepreneurial education and promoting entrepreneurial activity and small business in the region.

“Wilkes is proud to accept the invitation from ICSB and the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations. It represents both our decades-long commitment to entrepreneurship and family business, as well as our increasingly global outreach. I look forward to joining my counterparts at George Washington, Babson and other academic institutions in support of this effort,” Leahy said.

Leahy said Wilkes’ commitment and expertise in this area is further underscored by the programs and services offered in support of business and entrepreneurial activity via the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and its Enterprise Center, the Small Business Development Center, the Family Business Alliance and the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development. “These organizations housed within the University provide a level of support to small business unmatched by other colleges and universities around the country,” he said.

The International Council for Small Business provided the impetus for the U.N. to establish the international recognition day. Jeff Alves, former dean and now professor in Wilkes’ Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership, served as president of the council from 2013-2014. The invitation for Leahy to speak at the U.N. comes via that organization and from the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations.

The resolution is being adopted as part of the International Council for Small Business Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Knowledge Summit at the U.N. on May 11. The event brings together entrepreneurial experts with a focus on using micro, small and medium-sized business to accelerate global job creation and improve the standard of living in countries around the world.

According to the International Council for Small Business, small businesses will be the employers of the future. The World Bank estimates that 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 15 years, especially in Asia and Africa. Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises account for up to 45 percent of total employment and up to 33 percent of national income in emerging economies.