Global Entrepreneurship Week part of university's innovation efforts

Thursday, November 6, 2008

James Stapleton believes that for students to survive in today's competitive global market they must develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

To help his students, Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies -- where Stapleton is director -- has launched a yearlong initiative to help collegians of all majors and others in the community further their innovation skills.

"We live in an entrepreneurial society," Stapleton said. "Students will face an increasingly competitive global economy that requires them to be innovative, self-starters and problem solvers. Regardless of what students plan to do as a career, they will benefit by developing an entrepreneurial mindset."

In June the center launched the Missouri Rural Entrepreneurial Through Action Learning program aimed at promoting entrepreneurial education for the state's grade-school students and teachers by studying innovative and enterprising business concepts. On Nov. 17 Southeast students will join millions of college students from more than 75 countries to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, an event that will feature panels, presentations and competitions aimed at representing the diversity of real-world entrepreneurs.

Stapleton said the purpose of the event is twofold.

First, students will have an opportunity to engage with entrepreneurs through speakers and panels. Those business executives include Don Steen, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; J. Kim Tucci, co-founder of the Pasta House Co. restaurant chain; and Dennis Payne, retired president and chief executive officer of AT&T Advertising and Publishing.

Second, students will be able to explore their creative side through an Imagine It! Innovation Challenge. Students will work in teams to maximize the worth of objects used in everyday life. Teams will produce and post a three-minute video about their project on YouTube by Nov. 21.

The object used in the competition will be revealed during the week's opening ceremony. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded to teams in five categories.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

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