Stapleton Elected to Association for Enterprise Opportunity Board of Directors


by News Bureau on Monday, May. 07, 2012


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 7, 2012 — Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and associate professor of entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University, was recently elected to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity Board of Directors.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is a national membership organization and voice of microbusiness development in the United States. For nearly two decades, AEO and its hundreds of member organizations have helped more than two million entrepreneurs support themselves and their families and contribute to their communities through business ownership. AEO provides valuable insight into the opportunities and critical issues facing this growing segment and works with an expanding network of partners to lead the industry in microbusiness solutions.

“Dr. Stapleton brings a unique knowledge of the entrepreneurial capacity challenges and opportunities facing rural regions” said Chris Masingill, federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority, who nominated Stapleton for the position. “He has worked for several years to increase entrepreneurial capacity by creating innovative education and outreach programs that serve some of the most distressed rural counties in the nation. We are glad that the 252 counties and parishes of the DRA region will be represented by Dr. Stapleton in this very important organization,” Masingill added.

Through Stapleton’s leadership, the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University has grown into one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, including the creation of an innovative cross-campus initiative that is transforming the entrepreneurial potential of the University, and development of a nationally recognized microenterprise development program that has assisted in the creation of over 300 microbusinesses. Stapleton pledges to “leverage his passion, experience and abilities to work on behalf of AEO’s mission to support the development of strong and effective U.S. microbusiness initiatives to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and expanding businesses.”

The CIE offers a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business consulting, incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.

For more information about the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, call (573) 651-2929 or visit