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Alumna Dr Ana Cristina Siqueira tells us about her inspiring career aligning economic, social, and environmental goals

Dr Ana Siqueira (MPhil Innovation, Strategy and Organization, 2006) is Associate Professor of Management, and Director of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson University.

In this interview she talks about her career, motivations and involvement with the College.

Tell us about yourself and your current career. What did you study and how did that lead into what you're doing now?

Today I have the privilege and joy of serving as an Associate Professor of Management and Founding Director of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation at William Paterson University in New Jersey, USA, and Co-Founder of Reframery, an online platform that empowers diverse individuals in various countries to develop socially and environmentally responsible organizations. I was recognized by ROI-NJ Media Company in 2021 as an Influencer in Higher Education for Social Equality and Equity.

To perform my current activities, it was essential for me to have completed an MPhil in Innovation, Strategy, and Organization in the 2006-2007 academic year, when I was enrolled in Lucy Cavendish College. The MPhil was an essential part of my subsequent PhD in Management at the Judge Business School in Cambridge. 

While at Lucy and during my PhD, I studied innovation practices among UK and US businesses and how these practices are different among startups. It was so humbling and rewarding that a paper from my PhD dissertation was selected for the Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management, and received a Research Promise IDEA Award (from the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management), and a Michael H. Mescon/Coles College of Business Best Empirical Paper Award (from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Connecticut and the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management). A later version of this paper with my supervisor Dr. Andy Cosh titled “Focusing on one capability at a time: Patterns in the use of innovation activities and implications for young firms” was published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, and a video is available here

What inspired you to pursue this career? What are your key motivations? What are you ultimately trying to achieve? 

I am inspired to pursue a career as an educator and social entrepreneur in order to amplify positive social impact on the lives of new generations of leaders and entrepreneurs as well as to raise awareness about the importance for business leaders and entrepreneurs to align economic, social, and environmental goals. I integrate the Principles for Responsible Management Education and Sustainable Development Goals in my courses and training programs, so that students and participants can pursue their dream business and career, contribute to the communities they are passionate about, and design business practices that are socially inclusive and responsible as well as environmentally sustainable for our planet.

What have been the best and worst moments of your study or career so far? 

The COVID-19 pandemic was both the most difficult and creative moment of my career thus far. I value diversity and inclusion so much and it was terribly hard to witness the hardship of the pandemic on the livelihood of vulnerable populations such as racial minorities, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and underserved women entrepreneurs. I felt a strong need to take action to improve the opportunities for diverse individuals in these situations to develop and evolve their businesses as a response to the socioeconomic transformations precipitated by the pandemic. So I joined forces with my amazing co-author and co-founder, Dr. Benson Honig at McMaster University, to startup

Our mission at Reframery is to empower diverse individuals by fostering Ingenuity, Inclusion, and Impact (3 Is) through peer-reviewed research and training on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills. We support individuals who face socio-economic constraints by providing entrepreneurship consulting and coaching services with the purpose of improving equal opportunity, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and inclusion in diverse communities internationally. Thanks to the support from cross-sector stakeholders such as McMaster University and Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we currently offer our services to diverse underserved entrepreneurs in Brazil, Canada, and the United States. 

What would be your advice to students who wanted to pursue a similar career?

My words of encouragement for students with similar goals are to embrace their uniqueness as their strength, realize that they are not alone and that support is available when we seek it, and how much your pursuit of your dreams can benefit communities and our world. I urge them to become a part of (or launch new) communities of individuals who are working to make our world a better place for all. I invite them to ask questions like: How wonderful can life be? How good can I be? How can I be of service? How can I bring my gifts into the world and benefit myself, the communities I love, and our planet?

Why did you choose Lucy? What was and is the best thing about being part of the Lucy community? 

The best part of being a part of Lucy in my first year at Cambridge was the social support I received from the College to get integrated into the community and culture of the College and the University. One of the moments I appreciate the most was when Lucy faculty and administrators invited me along with my husband as well as my Judge Business School supervisor Dr. Andy Cosh for a reception and dinner at the College, which was essential for me to feel a part of the community and position myself to successfully achieve my academic goals at Cambridge. I greatly appreciate being chosen by Lucy and I am grateful for the support I received.

I also appreciate the care with which Lucy has nurtured its alumni. I invite alumni, students, and friends of Lucy to reach out to me if you would like to be a part of a group to generate ideas and design new ways to benefit Lucy and future diverse students at Lucy via fundraising using new financial technologies. As part of my work, I study how entrepreneurial initiatives involving digital coins and cryptocurrencies can benefit communities and socioeconomic development, such as in my article with B. Honig, S. Mariano, and J. Moraes titled “A common strategy for promoting entrepreneurship and social capital: Implications for community currencies, cryptocurrencies, and value exchange” published in the Journal of Business Ethics, with a video available here. For this article, I received a Bright Idea Award in 2021 from the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University and the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association. I welcome alumni, students, and friends of Lucy who are interested in financial technologies such as crowdfunding and cryptocurrencies to contact me for idea generation about fundraising solutions to benefit the College and its incoming classes of diverse students.

About Dr Siqueira

Ana Siqueira (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Associate Professor of Management, and Director of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson University. She is an award-winning educator and has been teaching face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 2009. In 2014, she received a university-wide Creative Teaching Award at Duquesne University for co-revising the Strategic Management course aligned with the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). This revised course received a commendation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Her pedagogical innovations have appeared in several publications. Dr. Siqueira was a Benavitch Scholar in St Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge in 2007-2009 and she was hosted in 2008-2009 in the Industrial Performance Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her professional experience includes almost five years in financial services organizations such as Citigroup, where she developed business planning and new strategic initiatives involving communication and information technology. Her articles have appeared in premier publications such as Journal of Business Ethics, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and Journal of Business Venturing. She was recognized by ROI-NJ Media Company in 2021 as an Influencer in Social Equality and Equity. She is an Editorial Board Member of the journals Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and Cross-Cultural & Strategic Management. She served as an elected officer in the Teaching Community of the Strategic Management Society, as well as the Organizations and Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management.