Gregory Fairchild, associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, has been named one of “five of the most highly-rated research professors” and a top professor in the category of entrepreneurship by the Financial Times in its January 25, 2010, ranking of the world’s top MBA programs.
Fairchild’s research explores the potential of business — specifically entrepreneurship — to improve the welfare of people living in low-income, inner city neighborhoods. Fairchild studies how companies, despite few resources and less than favorable conditions, can create value.
In 2007, the MacArthur Foundation awarded him a three-year, $850,000 grant to study community development financial institutions, which are nonprofit or governmental organizations that provide financial services to low-income customers.
“I’m interested in how businesses and communities interact,” he said. “I look at how the business sector influences the lives of poor and middle-income people, and how shifting economic factors affect businesses.”
In May 2009, the Darden School named Fairchild executive director of the Tayloe Murphy Center, which promotes Virginia businesses in the U.S. and abroad. Fairchild’s goal is to spur economic development in Virginia, and he will speak around the state about economic competitiveness and the example of entrepreneurs as change agents in low-income communities.
One of his newest initiatives, The Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards Competition — details of which will be announced soon —is designed to bring attention, recognition and support to entrepreneurial firms in Virginia’s most economically challenged areas, which have shown sustained economic vitality, have created employment and provide some measure of uplift to their communities.
In July 2009, the Center for Business Education at the Aspen Institute named Fairchild a 2009 Faculty Pioneer for his “leadership and risk-taking in integrating ethical, environmental and social issues into the MBA curriculum.”
Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.