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McPherson College Brings Out the Entrepreneur in its Students During Global Entrepreneurship Week

posted Nov 08, 2011 in CAMPUS EVENTS

The entrepreneurial spirit will shine brightly at McPherson College during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 11-18.

Students will have the opportunity to develop a sustainable venture in Central America – with one winning team sent there to put their idea into action; win a new iPad by designing an app; even win a skydiving adventure just for taking an entrepreneurial leap at McPherson College.

“Entrepreneurship isn’t limited to one profession or a certain kind of person,” said Kori Gregg, executive director of entrepreneurship at McPherson College. “It’s a state of mind. It’s about being innovative, creative and seeing problems as opportunities. During this week, there will be numerous opportunities for students to show what they can accomplish, and be rewarded for it.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week was founded in 2008 to encourage entrepreneurship around the globe. In 2010 it boasted 40,000 events in more than 100 countries and 7.5 million participants worldwide. Last year, McPherson College was one of only 10 featured events for the week for its “Global Enterprise Challenge”, which had 30 students in six teams come up with a sustainable venture to help in Haiti. The college then paid the way for one winning team to go to Haiti and explore putting their idea into effect.

GEC Team working in Haiti

Dr. Kent Eaton (left), provost, and Nate Coppernoll (right), freshman, Stillman Valley, Ill., work to help create a fish pond in Aux Plaines, Haiti, as the culmination of the 2010 Global Enterprise Challenge.

The Global Enterprise Challenge is returning at the college this year, with a destination in Central America (to be revealed) for the students to explore solutions. In just three days, students will have to research the country, come up with an idea and present their concept to a panel of judges.

This year the college is expanding its activities during Global Entrepreneurship Week as it officially launches and celebrates its “Freedom to Jump” entrepreneurship initiative. “Freedom to Jump” is the concept that a traditional liberal arts education is closely tied to the modern idea of entrepreneurship. The initiative works to incorporate the principles of entrepreneurship across all fields of study at the college.

In the last year, aspects of the initiative have included the micro-grant Horizon Fund, giving grants of up to $500 to students with great ideas; and the Transformative Entrepreneurship Minor, allowing students to make entrepreneurship part of their degree, no matter what their major is.

This year, the college is adding new games and contests to spark entrepreneurial thinking. One of these is the “Jump In for Change” contest, which is giving away a total of $500 in change (in quarters) to students who best identify a problem and offer the next step to find a solution. Students can learn how to create iPad apps in a special workshop, with an iPad going to the student who develops the best new app that serves the college or the community. Campus clubs and organizations can also win $500 and a day of team building at a challenge course though the E Team Challenge. This prize is for coming up with an entrepreneurial idea to improve their organization.

The week will wrap up with a visit from Jeff Stamp on Friday to both faculty and a presentation open to the public. This inventor and entrepreneur has to his credit the invention of Baked Lays, sharing creativity and entrepreneurship techniques through his company Bold Thinking and is the endowed professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of North Dakota.
Perhaps the prize most likely to get students adrenaline pumping involves some literal jumping – out of a plane, that is. One lucky McPherson College student will have their name drawn to win an actual skydiving package.

“There’s a rush that you get the moment you step from the edge and feel the pull of the earth on you,” Gregg said. “We’re hoping it helps students draw the metaphor – the excitement that comes from feeling the pull of your calling on the planet.”

For more information about McPherson College, Freedom to Jump or a full schedule of Global Entrepreneurship Week events at the college, visit

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