Eastern Michigan University
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Entrepreneurship Program Has National Winners

Published December 10, 2012

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Eastern Michigan University's Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO) was a standout at the 2012 National CEO Conference in Chicago this November. The chapter received the "Teaching Entrepreneurship Award" out of more than 400 colleges and universities represented at the event.

"The College of Business prepared us well, and this award proves it," says Chapter President Jessica Smith, who received the award on behalf of EMU. More than 1,200 students, faculty and entrepreneurs attended the annual event, in which business leaders shared their ideas and expertise, added Smith, a business administration major with a concentration in entrepreneurship. She will graduate this month.

"The EMU chapter is highly motivated," says Leonard Sholtis, CEO faculty advisor. "These students not only aspire to own a business one day—they want to empower others to do the same."

This year's award was based on the chapter's efforts in teaching their students and those from area high schools about entrepreneurship. Specifically, the chapter coordinated and hosted a Business Plan Workshop last year designed to show high school students how to put their ideas to work in a business. It was one of many activities organized by the chapter, said Smith.

The mission of the CEO is to inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through entrepreneurial creation. Students gain real world experience by working on club projects involving actual products for sale such as software solutions and apparel. The club also provides students with the opportunity to run chapter business.

"We are committed to helping students of every major learn the aspects of starting their own business," says Smith, adding that the group of about 18 students meets Thursday evenings at the COB.

The chapter is part of EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship, a co-curricular program of the EMU College of Business. The program, established in 1986, strives to encourage innovative business creation and growth in southeast Michigan and a strong culture of entrepreneurial thinking in the EMU community.