Rodrigo Varela Villegas

  Director Center for Entrepreneurship Development
  Universidad Icesi

Rodrigo Varela Villegas

Holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad del Valle, a M.Eng. and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. He had realized several trips to different countries in the world to learn about Entrepreneurial Education and has attended several postdoctoral courses and seminar. At the moment, he is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Development at Universidad Icesi, Institution founded by him in 1985. He is a full professor at Universidad Icesi. He is a Distinguished professor at Universidad del Valle (retired). He is the founder and Director of the Latin American Conference on Entrepreneurship which has been held in Colombia (12 times), Mexico (2 times), Chile (1 time), Puerto Rico (1 time) and Costa Rica (1 time) Panama (1 time), Peru (1 time) and Brazil (1 time). He worked as Latin American representative in the steering Committee of the project "Entrepreneurship Worldwide" done by ILO-UNDP-INTERMAN. He is member of ICSB, ASEE, BALAS, CLADEA, and many Colombian associations. He is a member of the Board of FUNDAEMPRESA, a private foundation oriented to help university students to establish their own enterprises and of INCubarFUTuro a technology based incubator. He is member of the editorial boards of: Journal of World Business (USA), Revue Internationale P.M.E. (Canada), Journal of Entrepreneurship (India), Journal of Small Business Management (USA) and several Colombian Journals He is member of the Board of Directors of ICSB and is member of the Academic Board of Internationalizing Entrepreneurship (IntEnt).He is Vice-president of WUSME ( World Union of Small and medium Size enterprises) He was member of the Colombian Committee for the Entrepreneurship Development Policy, member of the Board of the Program Young Exporters Entrepreneurs of the Ministry of International Commerce, and of the National Program for the Technological, Industrial and Quality Development of Colciencias He was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Engineering School at the Universidad del Valle; founder of the Industrial Engineering Program at the Universidad del Valle; Planning Director of the Industrial Development Program at intermediate cities in Colombia; Technical adviser to UNIDO-UNDP at Honduras and at Dominican Republic; Dean of the Graduate School at Universidad Icesi, and Professor of the Chemical Engineering Master Program at the Universidad Industrial de Santander. He has been consultant, to several universities and organizations, in the design and implementation of entrepreneurship development activities and in the development of SME’s support programs in Colombia and in several Latin American countries. He was consultant of the project PROINVEST oriented to the growth of SME’s. He has been director of several project in entrepreneurship and SME with international and national funding. He designed the model and oriented the training of the professors in the IDB’s project “Jóvenes con Empresa”. He has published more than 150 articles, thirteen textbooks, and many consulting document in the areas of: Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Engineering Economy, Project Evaluation and Project Management, Education. His books “Evaluación Económica de Proyectos de Inversión” and “Innovación Empresarial : Arte y Ciencia en la Creación de Empresas” are text books in many Latín American universities. He has been keynote speaker in many national and International Seminars, Congress and Meetings, and visiting professor in several Latin-American universities. The Universidad del Valle gave him the category of “Distinguished Professor” and the “Sociedad Colombiana de Ingenieros Industriales y Administrativos” gave him the “Distinction to Educational Merit”. In 1997 he was selected by PORTAFOLIO, the main economic newspaper in Colombia, as the “Best University Professor in Business and Engineering in Colombia”. He was nominated as “Top Executive” by Revista Dinero and he is a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar. He has been selected many times as Best Professor at the Universidad ICESI. In 2007 he received the distinction “Premio Colombia a la Cultura Empresarial: Categoría Autores” given by the Colombian Government. In 2009 the International Council for Small Business (ICSB gave him the distinction as “White L Wilford Fellow”, the most important academic distinction given by this important international organization. He received the Emeritus Researcher award from Colciencias In 2010, USASBE distinguished the Center for Entrepreneurship Development with the “2010 Global Entrepreneurship Education Award” as the best educational program outside the USA. In 2018 the educational program was among the best six selected by ICSB.

Topics of Expertise: Entrepreneurship, Small Business, New Venture Creation, Finance

Type of Students Taught: Undergraduate, Graduate, Executive

Willing to Travel: Yes

Years In-Person Teaching Experience: 50 years

Years Online Teaching Experience: 3 years

Do you Prefer to Teach Only Online? No

Are you Research Active? Yes