Entrepreneurship and Leadership Forum at GW

December 12-13, 2015 - Registration is open

Date: December 12-13, 2015

The George Washington University School of Business, Funger Hall, 2201 G Street, NW, Washington DC 20052


The Leadership and Entrepreneurship Forum is designed to support student get a good grasp and understanding of entrepreneurship and leadership trends and assess their strengths and weakness to best grow their skills to the next level.


To create a leadership experience that will support the students:

  • To learn and have an in-depth understanding of entrepreneurship, leadership and the emerging trends.
  • To assess their challenges as professionals and leader in their life, community and organizations
  • To raise awareness on their leadership effectiveness as a leader in their life, community, workplace
  • To understand that leadership is about relationship and that appreciating differences is a foundation for building sustainable organizations, hence getting results and learning.


Registered participants who complete the program will receive an official certificate from the organizers.

Program Schedule

Saturday, December 12, 2015
Date Session Instructor(s)
9am – 10am Orientation & Welcome
Introduction to the Program
*Coffee available
Dr. Ayman Tarabishy
Ina Gjikondi
Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship Dr. Ayman Tarabishy
10.30am-12pm Break-out #1: Buying a Franchise
Break-out #2: Entrepreneurship and Tourism
12pm-1.30pm Box lunch
1.30pm-2.30pm Entrepreneurship: The bad, the good and the ugly
2.30pm-3pm Networking/Coffee break
3pm-4.30pm Break-out #3: Digital Marketing
Break-out #4: Management of Fast-Growing Business
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Date Session Instructor(s)
9am – 10am Check-in – Orientation for the day
*Coffee available
Dr. Ayman Tarabishy
Ina Gjikondi
Meaningful Workplaces: Bring your whole self into life Ina Gjikondi
10.30am-12pm Break-out #1: Essential Leadership Skills
Break-out #2: Your values in action
Betsy Caine
Andres Marquez Lara
12pm-1.30pm Box lunch
1.30pm-2.30pm Starting a business
2.30pm-3pm Networking/Coffee break
3pm-4.30pm Break-out #3: How to successfully raise money for your business or your idea
Break-out #4: HR Trends and Issues in Organizations
Tara Palacios
Dr. Paul M. Swiercz
4.30pm-4.45pm Distribution of certificates to the participants


Registration is now open - Secure your place today!

Faculty Bios

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy

Associate Professor, the George Washington University of Business
Trained Facilitator, Leadership Challenge & HBDI
Expert Trainer in Entrepreneurial Leadership

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy is currently an Associate Professor of Management at the George Washington University’s School of Business. He is the most recognized faculty in teaching that has been awarded best faculty for the past five years from 2010 to 2015 by the George Washington University School of Business. He is also an award winning author of his recent book on Small and Medium Enterprises and Information Technology. Dr. Tarabishy is the only faculty in the GW School of Business that teaches in two nationally ranked programs (the GW Healthcare MBA program and the Entrepreneurship program). Dr. El Tarabishy is also the Executive Director of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), the oldest and largest non-profit organization across the globe devoted to advancing small business research and practices. ICSB is a coalition of more than a dozen national organizations across the globe and represented in over eighty countries. Dr. El Tarabishy created and managed the Global Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Conference (GWOctober.org) that is hosted at the George Washington University. The GW October conference connects the latest and most cutting edge of entrepreneurship research to the most pressing and important national and international policy to promote entrepreneurship and SMEs. The intersection of these two important topics makes the conference vital for global development. Dr. El Tarabishy previous work experience included the World Bank in the Corporate Strategy Group. He helped develop and manage their technology strategy for the Development Marketplace Program. The program’s mission was to identify and support creative cutting-edge solutions to the most pressing world social and economic concerns. To date, the Global Development Marketplace competition has disbursed over US $100 million in awards to 600 winning proposals.

Ina Gjikondi, MA, MPS, Executive Coach

The GWU Center for Excellence in Public Leadership
Expert Trainer in Public Sector Leadership

Ina is the Director of Executive Education at the George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership. Ina is a an organizational development professional and a leadership coach, further deepening her knowledge in the integral approach by enhancing the understanding of human nature, phenomenology and adult development, to better serve organizations and people in a uniquely holistic way. In offers a variety of resources in leadership development, training design and delivery, which includes also several certifications in assessment tools and frameworks. Ina is experienced in working in multi-cultural environments and believes in the power of the language as an orientation to life, change and growth. Her experience with leadership development has been primarily within the public sector with leaders across the organization, both at the federal and local level.  Her passion is to work with people who have openness for learning and are curious to explore through mastery. Ina holds a MPS in Political Management and a MA in Human Resources Development from the George Washington University.

Dr. Paul M. Swiercz

Professor of Management, The George Washington University (GWU)

Dr. Paul Michael Swiercz is a Professor and past Chairman of the Department of Management (2005-2008) at The George Washington University in Washington D.C. Dr. Swiercz has published more than 35 refereed research articles; his case studies on Home Depot and Delta Airlines have appeared in six best selling strategy text books. His case study — Food Lion vs. the UFCW: Time for a Change? — was selected for the Best Case Award by the 2002 Academy of Management. He has been interviewed by numerous news organizations including CNN and has taught and presented seminars in Greece, Cyprus, France, Germany, Trinidad and Brazil. Dr. Swiercz served as editor (1998-2002) of the journal Human Resource Planning and is director of the Strategic HRM Partnership Project at GWU, developer of the SWIF Learning (Student Written – Instructor Facilitated Case Writing) and co-developer of the Cognitive Intrusion of Work Scale (CIW). In his capacity as a consultant and trainer he has directed workshops for ATT, General Motors, Cornell University, Telecom Egypt, the State of Georgia, China Petrochemical Corporation, the Pentagon, and others. Dr. Swiercz is the founder and principal in the firm Executive Selection and Development International (ESDI) and developer of the workshop Strategic Business Thinking: A Skill Building Workshop for Competitive Thinkers. He can be reached by phone at 202-994-0399 or by email at prof1@gwu.edu.

Betsy Caine, MA, Executive Coach

The GWU Center for Excellence in Public Leadership
Expert Trainer in Leadership Development

Betsy Caine is a senior consultant with over 25 years of demonstrated expertise in improving how organizations perform, with specialization in cultivating leadership talent in organizations. Her portfolio includes experience in organization development, group facilitation, strategic planning, leadership coaching and consulting and internal strategic communications. She is a results-oriented professional with outstanding client management skills. Ms. Caine brings a keen sense of intuition and insight about human behavior and the ability to grasp complex client issues within organizational systems. Using a highly collaborative approach, she builds strong partnerships with clients in order to achieve lasting results. Betsy’s coaching approach is highly results oriented and based on the business needs identified. She builds a trusting workspace in which she helps her clients identify their goals and aspirations as well as potential roadblocks. Coaching allows her clients to be able to become more intentional about their actions, behaviors, choices and ultimately successful in achieving their desired results.Betsy is a graduate of the Georgetown Coaching Program. She also holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development/OE, from Marymount University, BA in Nursing from University of Vermont and she is working on her MPhil in Organizational Dynamics, at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Baltimore. MD

Andres Marquez-Lara

The GWU Center for Excellence in Public Leadership
Expert Trainer in Leadership Development

Andres is experienced and passionate in facilitating the creation and implementation of human-centered approaches. He integrates his passion for collaborative problem solving, creativity and improvisational performance to bring diverse groups of people together to explore and improve team dynamics, as well as nourish strength-based leadership perspectives. Having formally trained in clinical community psychology and participatory action research, he brings an eclectic blend of methodologies that are also well suited for employee wellness initiatives, and workplace morale interventions. Andres brings the aforementioned skills to create highly-engaging workshops and awareness campaign around social justice issues (i.e. Stigma and mental illness), as well as civic engagement and civic education projects. Specialties: Mental health, improv theater, participatory action research (PAR), design thinking, six sigma methodology, and action methods.

Tara R. Palacios

Director of BizLaunch
Arlington County, Virginia, USA

Tara R. Palacios is the Director of BizLaunch, Arlington’s Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance Network in Arlington County, Virginia. Ms. Palacios initiated the BizLaunch program in 2002 to help entrepreneurs successfully grow and expand their businesses in the County. Since its inception the program has outreached to over 27,000 business owners through sponsored workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling sessions. Ms. Palacios has over 20 years of experience in Marketing and Business Development at a variety of firms: a health maintenance organization, an IT software developer, a financial institution, and a uranium enricher before joining Arlington County in 2001. In 2004 she received Arlington’s Best Business Award (ABBIES) for her steadfast contribution to the small business community. She also received the 2005 Small Business Advocate Award by the Arlington Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Ms. Palacios was awarded the 2010 District Director Award and the 2006 Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. She was also honored as a Person of Vision by Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women in 2009. In 2013 Ms. Palacios was awarded the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce 2013 Outstanding Public Partner Award and the 2013 Entrepreneurship Partner Award by the Business Development Assistance Group. Ms. Palacios holds a Bachelor’s of Art Degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Political Science and Journalism. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Marketing Communications from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Leadership Arlington. Ms. Palacios recently received her Certification in Public Management from the Council of Government’s Institute for Regional Excellence.

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship
Buying a Franchise
Entrepreneurship and Tourism
Entrepreneurship: The bad, the good and the ugly
Digital Marketing
Management of Fast Growing Businesses

Meaningful Workplaces: Bring your whole self into life (Ina Gjikondi)
What constitutes meaningful work? Explore three key elements of a meaningful workplace: the self, the work, and a sense of life balance and integration. Learn what you and your department can do to create a more meaningful work experience and how you can start living and leading mindfully in the workplace and beyond.

Essential Leadership Skills (Betsy Caine)
This session introduces the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership developed from the original and proven research of bestselling authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. Participants will have the opportunity to assess their own leadership behaviors and reflect on ways they can become better in their life and work.

Your Values in Action (Andres Marquez-Lara)
Leadership is about grounding yourself in your core values. It’s about understanding clearly what matters to you the most and acting upon it. This session will help participants get an understanding of values, why they matter as well as assessing their own individual values. Your values in action are important to create in the world the impact that you want.

How to successfully raise money for your business or your idea (Tara Palacios)
Have you always wanted to start your business and you have a great idea? You also have nailed the business plan are ready to try it out? You are however puzzled about the resources and where to find the money to finance your venture. This session will help you understand the available sources and steps you need to take to be successful.

Starting a Business
This session will walk you through the steps of how to start your own business through very practical examples and steps. This is your ABC quick guide to getting started from idea to incorporation.

HR Trends and Issues in Organizations ( Dr. Paul Swiercz)
The organizations today are evolving fast due to complexity, technology and change in human behavior. The millennial are radically contributing to the change in the workforce and bringing new fresh ideas. This session discusses some of the current trends of the workplace and provokes the question around your role in creating and impacting the ecosystem. It particularly looks at the landscape through the HR lens.