Symposium to Provide Operation JumpStart Certifications

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 27, 2011 — The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University is collaborating with several partners to host a series of symposia to build entrepreneurial capacity in the eight-state lower Mississippi Delta region.  The CIE is joining with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), the Delta Leadership Network and the U.S. Small Business Administration to host one symposium in each state this summer. 

Missouri will host the first symposium July 6-7 at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce at 1111 West Pine Street.  Ideal participants are those who would like to become certified program administrators and trainers in Operation JumpStart, a nationally recognized micro-enterprise training program developed by the CIE.  The symposium will include information on many resources to help communities, especially rural ones, create systems to support entrepreneurs and the start-up of new businesses. 

“We are pleased to offer these symposia and provide resources to organizations throughout the Delta that will lead to an increasing number of new businesses and jobs. We will also be announcing additional value-added programs at these symposia that will help provide the resources aspiring entrepreneurs need to be successful,” says Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the CIE and project director of the initiative.

Steve Halter, Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce executive director, is part of the Delta Leadership Network, a group of trained regional leaders.  Halter is coordinating the effort in Missouri along with the CIE and encourages service providers to take advantage of this training and certification. 

“In the seven years I have been involved with entrepreneurial training, I have never seen a program as exciting as this,” he says. 

Mike Marshall, former mayor of Sikeston, serves as the alternate federal co-chairman for the Delta Regional Authority.  He will speak at each symposium about the DRA’s resources and its vision for how the region can “catch up” to the rest of the nation. 

“Entrepreneurship is a priority of the DRA, and we are very excited to partner with the Delta Leadership Network, the SBA and Southeast Missouri State on accelerating entrepreneurship in the Delta,” Marshall said. “I look forward to meeting a lot of new people who will utilize the award-winning Operation JumpStart program to make a very positive impact on the economy in these states.”

Funding for the initiative is provided by the U.S. Small Business Adminstration’s PRIME program.  The CIE was the only organization in the nation to be awarded two PRIME grants last year.  PRIME funding provides capacity building and technical assistance funding to assist disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs.  

For more information or to register, call (573) 651-5156 or go to www.operationjumpstart.biz.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services.  The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerating economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.

For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie.