Valentina A. Assenova, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching interests center on organizations and social entrepreneurship in emerging economies. She has published award-winning research on issues related to early-stage startup formation, funding, and growth in leading academic journals such as Organization Science and Science. Dr. Assenova holds Ph.D., M.A., and M.Phil. degrees in management from Yale University, an M.B.A. degree with first-class honors from the University of Cambridge, and a B.Sc. degree with honors in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was an Andrew W. Mellon fellow and a Joseph Wharton Research Scholar.

Prior to joining the Wharton School, Dr. Assenova was Assistant Vice President in the Equity Investments group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has advised numerous privately held companies in the U.S., Africa, and Europe, and has collaborated and consulted with governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, and for-profit organizations such as the Awethu Project, FINCA International, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation on projects and initiatives that advance social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and microfinance in emerging economies. Dr. Assenova has visited 40 countries around the world to date, in Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and Europe. She can be reached at: