Lonely Planet co-founders give multimillion pound gift to London Business School

Professor Rajesh Chandy

The Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship

London Business School has today announced the establishment of the Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship. The endowed Chair, which has been awarded to Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing, has been made possible through the generosity of Tony and Maureen Wheeler, co-founders of Lonely Planet Publications, one of the largest travel guidebook publishers in the world.  Tony Wheeler graduated from London Business School in 1972 with a Master of Science in Management degree.

The popularity of entrepreneurship courses at London Business School has never been higher and the subject ranks top three in terms of size on the teaching syllabus. The Financing the Entrepreneurship Business (FEB) and Understanding Entrepreneurship Management electives have consistently featured in the top ten most popular electives over the past seven years. The School also prides itself on an extensive range of case studies, written by its faculty on real businesses and in many cases, the entrepreneurs themselves come to class to help create an invaluable learning experience for students.

As well as teaching, the School excels in entrepreneurial research. The world-renowned Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), run in partnership with Babson College, remains to this day one of the largest, continuing research activities ever undertaken in the entrepreneurship field.

Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of London Business School, said, "On behalf of everyone at the School, I'd like to thank Tony and Maureen for their huge generosity. They have been an inspiration to many students here and this gift will provide an important further link between them and London Business School.  It will also make a major contribution to our role in leading edge thinking by supporting Rajesh Chandy. "

Commenting on his contribution to the School, Tony Wheeler said, "Entrepreneurship is the key to wealth creation in much of the world, and no more so than in the emerging economies - countries which were often the focus for Lonely Planet Publications' early success.  Maureen and I are pleased to support London Business School, which is a leader in entrepreneurship education.  To know that the focus of Professor Chandy's work is entrepreneurship in emerging markets is especially gratifying."

Professor Chandy has been on the School's faculty since 2008 and has particular research interests in entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging markets. He holds a PhD from the University of Southern California, and served until 2008 on the US Secretary of Commerce Advisory Committee on Measuring Innovation in the 21st Century Economy.

Commenting on the gift, Professor Chandy said, "I am deeply grateful for this honour. Few activities are as crucial to growth and progress as entrepreneurship and innovation. Thanks to Tony and Maureen Wheeler's vision and generosity, we will be able to build on the world-renowned strengths of the London Business School community, and develop new ideas to help future generations of entrepreneurs."

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