Southeast to Participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week



Nov. 2, 2009 – Students at Southeast Missouri State University and members of the Southeast community will join millions of people around the world to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 14-20.

“There is a growing movement of entrepreneurial people generating new ideas and seeking better ways of doing things,” said Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of Southeast’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Global Entrepreneurship Week is an initiative that inspires people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity – to think big; to turn their ideas into reality; to make their mark,” he said.

Global Entrepreneurship Week will connect young people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and many others will participate in a range of activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings.

“Through this initiative, the next generation of entrepreneurs will be inspired and can emerge,” Stapleton said. “In doing so, they will begin to acquire the knowledge, skills and networks needed to develop innovative, sustainable enterprises and careers that have a positive impact on their lives, their families and communities.”

Global Entrepreneurship Week was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the United States and the Make Your Mark campaign in the United Kingdom in 2008. Students in countries across six continents will participate in the 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Week events. Stapleton serves as the regional director for Missouri and has worked with individuals and groups within the Southeast community to create a series of local events that reflects the priority the University places on stimulating local and regional economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri.

“We believe entrepreneurship is a way of life for the 21st Century, and that individuals from all walks of life will benefit from adopting entrepreneurial behavior,” Stapleton said. “We have planned events that will bring together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and areas of study with successful entrepreneurs to consider the importance of entrepreneurship across a wide spectrum of society. The 21st Century will be lead by innovators, and the events we have planned on campus will provide students an opportunity to explore creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” he added.

Southeast’s Global Entrepreneurship Week will include a series of events that will engage participants in various dimensions of entrepreneurship, including segments on renewable energy start-ups; entrepreneurship in the arts; entrepreneurship for women; student entrepreneurs; a keynote address by Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop; and the Imagine It! Innovation Challenge and Sustaining Southeast competition for students.

Women Inspiring eNtrepreneurship (WIN!)

Women who have new venture ideas and would like to start a business, women who currently own a business, women who are leading business careers, or any women who want to be inspired to lead more entrepreneurial lives are invited to the WIN! (Women Inspiring eNtrepreneurship) Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 14 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Jennifer Hendrickson, president of Hendrickson Business Advisors, one of the area’s leading business consulting firms, will present the keynote address. Attendees also will participate in a variety of short, fast-paced discussions and activities that offer practical advice, motivational messages from successful entrepreneurs and networking opportunities, inspiring attendees to put their ideas into action.

Short discussions about relevant topics such as gaining a competitive advantage, balancing a fast-paced life with health, and strategies for victory will be led by some of the region’s foremost experts on entrepreneurship. Hands-on activities like speed-networking will create a fun atmosphere, and participants will have a chance to win door prizes.

There is no cost to attend the event, and lunch will be provided. To register for the WIN! Workshop, call (573) 651-2940.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Kickoff & Imagine It! Innovation Challenge Unveiling

The Imagine It! Innovation Challenge will be unveiled at the Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff ceremony at noon,

Nov. 16, in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall. The challenge is open to teams of Southeast students and challenges them to use an assigned, everyday object to create as much “value” as possible. Teams will have four days to create value – economic or social – from the object. True value is realized from actually implementing ideas and delivering results. To be successful, students are encouraged to take action, challenge assumptions, seize opportunities, be innovative and Imagine It!

Teams will chronicle their efforts by submitting a three-minute video to a YouTube user group. Videos must be submitted by Nov. 20 at 8 a.m. A $1,000 prize will be given to one team in each of five categories, as well as a special audience prize, and winners will be showcased during the week’s final event, an awards ceremony on Nov. 20 at noon in Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Sustainability at Southeast Idea Competition

It is a priority at Southeast to promote ecological sustainability and to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. The Sustainability at Southeast competition seeks innovative and practical ideas on how the University can best address this priority.  Submissions must be received by 1 p.m.,

Nov. 18, and will be evaluated for merit in three areas – innovation and originality, practicality and feasibility, and impacts. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to first place teams in each of four categories, and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Nov. 20 at noon in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall.

Maxine Clark – founder, chief executive bear and chairman, Build-A-Bear Workshop

Maxine Clark, founder, chief executive bear and chairman of Build-A-Bear Workshop, will present the keynote address at the Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her 30-year career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department, discount and specialty stores.

In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy-bear themed retail entertainment experience. Today there are more than 400 stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. In 2007, the company extended its in-store interactive experience online with the launch of its virtual world at In 2009, Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to work for list. Maxine’s first book, The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart, was published in 2006.

Entrepreneurship in the Arts

The Entrepreneurship in the Arts seminar will demonstrate how entrepreneurship can benefit creative souls. Entrepreneurship can hold the key to reaching professional goals, personal ambitions and artistic dreams once the concept is understood.

Gary Lucy, a professional artist for 33 years, will present “Entrepreneurship in the Arts” from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center at Southeast’s River Campus. His award-winning art is at once both simple and profound. His colorful canvases of 19th century life on America’s inland waterways continue to win him an ever-increasing number of fans.

Lucy, a Southeast Missouri State University alumnus, grew up in southeast Missouri. Lucy found it wasn’t good enough just to be “good at drawing pictures.” Today, Gary is a historian, not to mention an amateur geographer, biologist and archeologist.

Renewable Energy Start-Ups

Forward thinking entrepreneurs are making leaps and bounds in the field of renewable clean energy. A new entrepreneurial culture is emerging as demand increases for innovative solutions to clean and sustainable energy. This entrepreneurial revolution is providing rapid development of innovative solutions that are entering the market and having an immediate impact on this global challenge.

Doug Greene, CEO of Alternate Energy Systems, Inc., will speak about the ability of the company’s Genesis I heating systems to utilize water as a fuel at noon Nov. 19 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall. The water is decomposed by electrolysis into oxygen and hydrogen gases, which can be burned as a heating fuel. The Genesis I uses as little as 300 watts of power to run and can be connected to wind or solar power directly. The Genesis I produces no fluorocarbons, no carbon monoxide and no greenhouse gases.

Daniel Sheridan, with Power Through Play, will speak about his Energee-Saw, a simple see-saw, which when played on by children at schools in the developing world, generates electricity to help provide power and lighting in the school. His research, through Power Through Play, explored how a positive aspect of African communities – play — could be combined with a need – electricity — that would benefit daily life.

Entrepreneur by Age Six, Millionaire by 14

Dr. Farrah Gray, co-CEO of Realty Pros Real Estate Asset Management Company Brokerage, will tell the story of his success during the awards ceremony Nov. 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m., in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Ebony magazine recognized Gray as an entrepreneurial icon, business mogul and best-selling author. Raised in the impoverished south side of Chicago, Gray defied the odds and became a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. By the age of 21, he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Allen University, in recognition of his ingenious economic mind and distinguished commitment to the development of values such as leadership, integrity and scholarship.

In his rise from poverty to national and international prominence as an entrepreneurial icon and pre-eminent power speaker, Gray has inspired millions around the world. He was featured by AOL Black Voices as making Black History 2008, and was named as one of the “Most Influential Black Men in America” by the National Urban League’s Urban Influence magazine. Gray also is the co-publisher/editor-in-chief of Prominent, an online edutainment magazine. At the age of 24, Gray has achieved more than many achieve in a lifetime.

For more information about Global Entrepreneurship Week, contact Stapleton at (573) 651-2010 or