Monday, July 1, 2002
OU entrepreneurs receive national honors
A group of students from the School of Business Administration's Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team were first runner-up in the semifinals of the 2002 SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City, advancing further than any other Michigan team.
The OU SIFE team competed against several other teams from across the country at the exposition. Each team had to develop and implement an educational outreach project, designed to teach basic business concepts and how market economies work, in order to educate others about the free enterprise system. During the competition, the teams presented the projects they worked on throughout the year.
The OU project consisted of 40 Oakland University students leading an Entrepreneur Camp and teaching Pontiac and Southfield students how to set up a business at a flea market.
"Through the entrepreneurship workshops and the camp, we affected the lives of between 1,500 and 2,000 middle and high schools students, who are primarily from underserved communities," said Mark Simon, assistant professor of management and adviser to the OU SIFE team.
"It was inspiring on two fronts, first, to see OU students so dedicated to training others in need and, second, to see our students learn so much by teaching others."
The team, which finished first at the regional competition in Chicago earlier this year, won $1,500 from the regional and $1,000 from the national competition. They plan to donate the money back to the program so they can continue to help economically disadvantaged children.
The Entrepreneurship Institute was established at Oakland University as part of a $50,000 grant from Ameritech-Michigan.
Founded in 1975 and active on more than 1,000 college and university campuses in 25 countries, SIFE is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with business and higher education to provide college students the opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free market economics.
For more information on SIFE, visit the SIFE Web site.