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Developing an Entrepreneurial Way of Thinking

April 22, 2009

From April 17 to April 19, my husband and I participated in the Fourth Annual National Policy Forum on Minority Entrepreneurship Education in Atlanta Georgia. This conference was sponsored by the Opportunity Funding Corporation and hosted by Fayetteville State University. Next year, we hope to return to the conference with an entrepreneurial team of CU students who compete in the student entrepreneurial contest.

What was most important about this conference is that it stressed the need for us to encourage entrepreneurial thinking among young people. This means to foster the creativity and the natural affinities in our young people that could lead to their recognizing and seeking opportunities in enterprises and in the corporate workforce. For HBCUs, the message was simple—we must maintain an entrepreneurial edge, so that we can produce competitive students who will interact successfully in the global marketplace. Additionally, when HBCUs are entrepreneurial, they will contribute to the regional economic development and the overall well being of their communities. At the National Policy Forum on Minority Entrepreneurship Education, I volunteered to support entrepreneurial professional development for faculty and staff at HBCUs.

The Opportunity Funding Corporation, the nonprofit organization which sponsors this national forum, has three goals:

  1. To help Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) develop an entrepreneurial curriculum that prepares students to become entrepreneurs,
  2. To provide dean and faculty development to help infuse entrepreneurship into the curricula, and
  3. To provide a forum for presidents, faculty, and students to interact with entrepreneurs and business executives.

During the conference, students participate in an entrepreneurship competition. Students submit business plans, presentations of their products, and answer questions from judges about funding, projected revenue, and marketing for their products.

All of the 22 teams were impressive. Clark Atlanta University won the competition this year followed by the other top finalists, North Carolina Central University, Winston-Salem State University, Southern University, Delaware State University, and Fayetteville State University.

Students and administrators enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to interface with many top executives of many sponsoring companies including Wal-Mart, Raytheon, UPS, Deloitte, BET, BB&T, HP, Chick-Fil-A, MacDonald’s, Walgreens, Boeing, Georgia-Pacific, Harland-Clark, Sam’s Club, Tiffany & Co, and other companies. This year’s event also included messages for success from keynote entrepreneur and businessman, Mr. Magic Johnson, former US Olympic and NBA champion.

I look forward to working with faculty and staff at Cheyney University to inspire future entrepreneurs. This certainly fits our motto of access, opportunity, and excellence!

Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D.

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COMMENTS

I agree with Sean - the sooner the students get in contact whith the ideas of Entrepreneuership the sooner the ideas of starting an own carreer as entrepreneur will rise and evolve.
 
Peter Winter 4:56AM 12/18/11
Regarding goal #3: To provide a forum for presidents, faculty, and students to interact with entrepreneurs and business executives - this one is quite exciting.
 
Techno Music 3:54PM 02/17/10
I think this is a great way to gain entrepreneurship for the student of CU. Also being able to talk to different buisness men that are already in the buisness world. And us as Cheyney University student will be reconized for something great. And more people across the nation will now know of us and who we are. Instead of them just seeing us on the news for the bad things that happen around campus.
 
Sean Channel 5:01PM 05/14/09
I think it is always good to think like an Entreprenuer. Reason being that is is always good to be a leader in this country that we live in. I always think being when I am doing something. Instead of think how could you work for a place think about how you could buy the place.
 
Syheed Goodman 5:00PM 05/07/09
I also think that it is a good idea for Cheyney to enter the competition. I think there are probably many entrepreneurs at the university and it would good for them to display their talents. It is also good because many people have negative thoughts about Cheyney and this could be something that shows Cheyney in a good light.
 
Charnae Fletcher 5:00PM 05/07/09
I Think this is a good idea for the students here at cheyney to be recognized. it will help give cheney a fresh start for the 2009/2010 acadimic year so we can be looked at in a differant way than what we are now. i think this opportunity wile doors will open up more doors for cheyney students
 
MameXaali N'Diaye 5:00PM 05/01/09
I agree, this is school has always been looked at as a party school but with this idea things could change. This campus is full of entrepreneurs but nobody knows that but with this it might help them build their business faster and get things on a roll.
 
Anonymous 4:59PM 05/01/09
I think this is a good thing to do for the student in cheyney.ItS a very good idea to notice the entrepreneurs in cheyney university. I believe it will look good for the university of cheyney. We can finally get a positive look instead of a bad one.
 
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/30/09
This is a good way to promote our campus as a good campus. as of now peoplep look at our school as the party school or the dirty school. so by doing this entrepreneurs thing it van put our school on the map in a positive way.
 
Kyree Payne 4:59PM 04/29/09
I agree with the last comment and I would like to see more seminars around the subject here at cheyney. I think it will be benifeiallly for our lives after college.
 
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/29/09
I think ita an excellent idea for us as Cheyney University to enter the competition next year. It's a very good idea to notice the entrepreneurs of our school. I strongly agree that it certainly fits our motto of access, opportunity, and excellence. I think this will get our institution noticed more. When I say noticed I mean noticed in a postive way.
 
Anonymous 4:59PM 04/23/09

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