Friday, November 9, 2012

Entrepreneurs are ambitious people who take personal financial risks. They work tirelessly to create products and provide services. And they are job creators, playing a vital role in our economy.

Monday kicks off Global Entrepreneurship Week, and students and members of the community will gather for events as Southeast Missouri State University participates in the celebration.

Several functions are planned that we hope you consider attending. Here are a few:

* Second City Communications, the corporate division behind the comedy group The Second City, will give a keynote address at noon Monday at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus. The group focuses on humor in a corporate setting. This free event is part of the University Speaker Series.

* The Pathways to Entrepreneurship panel discussion is set for noon Thursday in Glenn Auditorium. Derek Cornelius, founder and president of Syntrax Innovations, and Daniel Mohorc, founder, president and chief executive officer of Galactic, will share their thoughts on entrepreneurship and some of the successes and challenges they've faced.

* Following the panel discussion is the BIG Idea Awards Ceremony at 1 p.m. Students submitted ideas earlier in the semester and finalists entered three-minute videos to pitch ideas. According to a Southeast news release, judges from around the country selected the best BIG Idea. It will be interesting to see the student proposals.

* The Women Inspiring eNtrepreneurship (WIN!) Women's Night Out reception is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the River Campus Atrium. The speaker will be Tracy DeGraaf, an author, speaker, humorist, stand-up comedian, entrepreneur and mother of five. This is a good opportunity for women to meet and learn from other women entrepreneurs. To register, go online to www.semo.edu/win.

For more information on any of the events, call the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at 651-2929.

Hats off to the university for again participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week. While the presentations are inspiring for all attendees, it's especially important for the students.

Many of these young people studying at the university will be the innovators of tomorrow. By emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship, Southeast is providing a great service to them -- and to us.

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