University of New Orleans finance professor M Kabir Hassan has been selected as a US Fulbright Scholar for 2022-23 to study small and medium-sized businesses in Saudi Arabia.
Fulbright scholars also play a critical role in US public diplomacy, establishing long-term relationships between people and nations, according to a media release.
Fulbright Scholar awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad.
Fulbright alumni include 61 Nobel laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 76 MacArthur Fellows and thousands of leaders and experts in academia and other fields in private, public and nonprofit sectors, the release added.
“My goal is to design a framework that utilies alternative sources of Judeo-Christian-Islamic mode of financing for SMEs. This Senior Fulbright Fellowship allows me the next big step to derive policy implications in Saudi Arabia, a country with Islamic roots that is rapidly modernizing,” Hasan, a Bangladeshi origin US citizen, was quoted in the release.
Independent research and participant surveys conclude that Fulbright exchange experiences lead to greater international co-publication, continued international exchange and stronger cross-cultural communication skills.
Hassan’s Fulbright research will provide policy recommendations by exploring the current development of small and medium enterprise (SME) finance in Saudi Arabia and examining the role of Islamic financial mechanisms to overcome financial barriers for SMEs.
According to the World Bank, SMEs play a major role in most economies. They account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development.
However, SMEs are facing problems in expanding due to a lack of access to finance, Mr Hassan said.
Mr Hassan holds three endowed chairs in the Department of Economics and Finance. He is the winner of the 2016 Islamic Development Bank Prize in Islamic Banking and Finance. He has also supervised 67 doctoral theses at the University of New Orleans, the release read.