Message from the Director
Dr. Mark Spriggs, Fall 2012
About 10 years ago, I felt like an NFL player when Dean Puto told me I had been traded from the Marketing Department to the Entrepreneurship Department. My first and most daunting challenge was learning to spell entrepreneurship. Is that “per” or “pre;” “eu” or “ue?” I imagine some of you went through the same transition when you discovered, or were told, that you were a social entrepreneur. You thought you were running a nonprofit. You knew your organization was attempting to solve the problems of poverty, disease and hunger, or provide literacy training or medical care to people, all to help resolve the social inequities we see every day in the world, and someone said “What you are doing is social entrepreneurship” and you had to figure how to spell it, too.
But proper spelling was just the beginning, wasn’t it? Next you asked yourself and those around you “What exactly is a social entrepreneur?” I avoided the question until St. Thomas announced we were hosting the 2009 Opus Prize. One of the principles of the Opus Prize is social entrepreneurship, and people were asking me about the social entrepreneurship activities of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and the Opus College of Business. So I did some investigating, and found that social entrepreneurship includes a number of exciting and worthwhile activities.
The Opus Prize finalists were providing training and services to single women and their children in Morocco, another had founded clinics for people with addictions in 10 different countries, and the third cared and advocated for physically and mentally challenged kids in Columbia. I remembered as an undergraduate student we called what they were doing economic or socioeconomic development. Now we call it social entrepreneurship.
But it wasn’t that simple. Other people told me about entrepreneurs who include social values in their founding principles – a social values perspective that means these founders share their success by supporting organizations or engaging in activities that battle against the problems of society. Their employees volunteer their time, the firm makes significant resource donations and it is a core part of their business. That’s social entrepreneurship, version two.
But I also found experienced entrepreneurs using the entrepreneurial principles within traditional social service organizations as well as creating new structures to solve social problems. For example, some social problems were never talked about in “polite” company, but entrepreneurs know that if you want to get people to change their behaviors, you have to engage them in conversations, and reach them in new ways. These social entrepreneurs created messages to educate and galvanize to action audiences that had been unaware or uninterested and developed new delivery processes to reach people who needed this information or needed these services. Companies such as Design Wise Medical, a nonprofit company focusing on developing new pediatric medical devices that meet a significant need, do just that. Social entrepreneurship, version three.
And the last “type” of social entrepreneurship I discovered involved nonprofit organizations, where many of you come from: long-standing organizations and new ones that were established as non- or not-for-profit entities with the express purpose of addressing societal problems. You, too, are engaged in social entrepreneurship.
So to me, social entrepreneurship isn’t narrowly defined. The social challenges and problems we face today are complex, and won’t be solved by one approach. I know that there are many smart and talented social entrepreneurs dedicated to solving society’s problems.
Awards and Recognition Ceremony and Business Plan Competition
for the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
On May 10, 2012, the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship held the 2012 Awards and Recognition Ceremony to present special awards to publicly thank those who support our programs. The event also included the Spring Business Plan Competition for ENTR 450.
Recognitions were as follows
Best Case Study – USASBE
Simply Sport Bikes – Brian Cox
Class Project Awards for ENTR 350 and ENTR 370:
ENTR 350 (Dr. John McVea)
ENTR 370 – (Dr. James Ebben)
Special thanks to Dr. Mark Spriggs, director, Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, for securing funding for case awards. Also special thanks to Mark Lacek – alum – who contributed money to support awards.
This semester’s competition for ENTR 450 was divided into two groups:
Group A – Development Division
Group A – Development
Group A – Development
Group A - Development
Group B – Launch
Group B – Launch
ENTR 200 Lemonade Stand Project
Dr. Alec Johnson and Dr. Jay Ebben
The top 3 teams:
LemonKidz – Kara Gamelin (in photo), Angela Hasek and Peter Burke
M.A.D. Lemonade – Derek Donnelly, Alyssa Friedrich and Melena Nelson
Honorable Mention: Lemonaires and The Lemon
Most Valuable Senior
Recognizes contributions in and outside of the classroom, as well as the ability to build rapport within St. Thomas that also extends to the community.
Winners: Solome Tibebu, Ian McIntosh, Wes Hoefer and BreAnna Fisher
Thanks and recognition also to those who served as judges for the business plan competition, those who have done so much to help mentor our students, and to faculty members Dr. Laura Dunham, Dr. John McVea and Michael Sarafolean, as well as departmental staff.
Also, a thank you to Dr. David Deeds for organizing and securing funding for the Fowler competition, for setting up the MN Angel Network and paid internships and to Dr. Mark Spriggs for his leadership.
Students, faculty and staff also recognized Jay and Alec in return for all they do for students.
The Fowler Business Concept Challenge
October 19, 2012
The 4th Annual Fowler Business Plan Competition was held on October 19t at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. The competition challenges students to develop a business concept that has the potential to become a viable, high-growth business. The teams that submit the winning business competition in each of two divisions, undergraduate and graduate, receive $10,000 scholarships from the University of St. Thomas.
This year’s winners are:
Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota Conference
November 29, 2012
The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship co-sponsored with Visionary Women (WeMN) conference on November 29, 2012. More than 100 entrepreneurs and program staff attended this event that focused on the five areas most businesses struggle with – leadership, profitability, marketing, technology and sales.
Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, Entrepreneur
Keynote Speaker Robyne Robinson with
UST Entrepreneur Student Profile
Jimmy Jara, Cookie Cart Accounting Intern, Summer 2012
A junior at the University of St. Thomas, Jimmy Jara isn’t sure what career he will pursue after college, but he knows he wants to make a difference and contribute to the community. Majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in Catholic studies, Jimmy was looking for a summer internship through the University of St. Thomas. With an interest in working with youth, he saw the accounting internship at Cookie Cart posted on the school career board and he applied.
As a graduate of DeLaSalle High School with family in North Minneapolis, Jimmy is quite familiar with Cookie Cart. Like many young people starting out in the workforce, he was intimidated to begin his internship, but now he really feels at home here, noting a kind and supportive energy among the staff. Jimmy took on a big accounting project, with the help of Cookie Cart staff, and he learned just how much accounting is involved in running even a small organization. Jimmy was especially impressed with how outgoing the youth employees at Cookie Cart are and how they develop a “Cookie Cart personality.” We wish Jimmy the best of luck as he pursues his dreams!
The Accelerator Program: An Entrepreneurs’ Organization Program
The Accelerator Program is an international program aimed at helping early-stage entrepreneurs drive their business growth to $1+ million in annual sales. Potential candidates for the program should already have started their business and this program specifically targets ventures with sales between $250,000 and $1 million.This program, dubbed “Accelerator,” is presented by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) – the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs – through their Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter.
The EO Accelerator Program provides emerging entrepreneurial companies with support in three forms: a professionally developed educational curriculum, mentorship by established local entrepreneurs, and consultation focusing on strategic planning, sales, marketing, human resources and finance. Tuition for the program is $1,000 per participant. This years’ program met twice in 2012, most recently on October 25, with the topic being Sales and Marketing. For information about the Accelerator Program and the application process, contact Michael Sarafolean (UST Opus College of Business and the Orion Corporation) at Michael@theorioncorp.com, (651)245-0701, or Jeff Martin (Collective Genius, CEO and Founder) at firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 804-8330.
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