posted Mar 23, 2012 in ACADEMICS
Entrepreneurial ventures are like growing a garden – you plant a seed, nurture it and work to grow it into something great.
The Kansas Economic Gardening Network is a pilot program using this imagery, and has recently given technical services as well as a small grant to McPherson College to help it continue to grow its own developing entrepreneurship program.
The Economic Gardening Network was created to help existing businesses and entrepreneurship programs to flourish and takes the next step in growth. It provides technical assistance and advice at no charge to a handful of selected organizations with the vision and ability to grow.
McPherson College President Michael Schneider said he has been working directly with the network for several months and said they have provided strategies for getting the college better Internet exposure and to attract potential students interested in MC’s “Freedom to Jump” entrepreneurship initiative. He will now take some of these ideas and work with the marketing and admissions departments at the college to start implementing them.
“This has been a wonderful opportunity for the college,” Schneider said. “The purpose of the network is to add value in local economies. Our selection for this program means we’ll be better able to identify students who want to attend MC and will graduate with the passion and the skills to change their communities, their state and their world.”
The Kansas Economic Gardening Network is a key program of NetWork Kansas. This organization was established by the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 and was tasked with the mission of promoting a strong environment for entrepreneurs by helping to connect them with the expertise, education and economic resources they need to grow.
Erik Pedersen, director of Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities with NetWork Kansas, said they were excited to work with McPherson College in the pilot program of the Kansas Economic Gardening Network.
“The National Economic Gardening team worked with the innovative leaders at McPherson College to review their strategy and the market they’re trying to reach – all to come up with better ways to reach potential students,” he said. “We value our relationship with McPherson College and look forward to watching their entrepreneurship initiatives grow.”
The college’s “Freedom to Jump” entrepreneurship initiative officially launched in November last year. Though the initiative, McPherson College has given micro-grants of up to $500 students with great ideas, challenged teams of students to come up with solutions in Haiti and Panama – then sent them there to explore making those ideas reality – and offered two grants of $5,000 each to Kansas high school students with the best entrepreneurial commercial idea and non-profit idea.