Can you get something bigger or better?

First Place Wins $100 Gas Card

When: Begins Oct. 29th at 5:30pm

Where: COBA room 1116 

At the end of the month, the Entrepreneurship Club will be hosting a “Bigger or Better” competition that is sure to challenge the entrepreneurial minds of all participants.  As mentioned in the graphic, each team of two will begin with a product that they must attempt to continuously exchange for a bigger or better product during the allotted time period.  At the end of the competition, the final items will be judged and the team with the biggest and best product will win!  Contact Mr. Rick Murray today for any additional questions you may have, and to be apart of a truly exhilarating competition!

E-Zone Forum: How to Manage Growth!

The Georgia Southern Entrepreneur Zone in downtown Statesboro will be hosting another Forum on November 13th from 11:30-1:00 pm.  You will find the full details of the forum above, but the objective is to assist small businesses in running their company efficiently.  The topic for this month is “How to Manage Growth”.  We will have 3 guest speakers that specialize in this area.  There will also be great networking opportunities and lunch will be provided!  This is a completely free service to the community. Call 912-478-8701 or reply with your RSVP to Matthew Chambers at to reserve your seat as there are only 30 spots available!

Center advisory council meeting 2012

The 2012 Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership Advisory Council was held in the E-Zone on Monday 9th April.  Attending from COBA was Dean Ron Shiffler; Department Chair Jerry Wilson; Dr. Dominique Halaby; Dr. Luke Pittaway and Matt Chambers.  Advisory Council members attending included: Lori Durden; Lesley Francis; Allen Muldrew; Clint Nessmith; Bill Pittman; Stuart Wiggins; Woody Johnson; Ron Medinger; Ray Wenig; and Jimmy Childre.

Chair of the Advisory Council Jim Williams opened proceedings.  The meeting began with a presentation by Dominique Halaby from the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED). Dr. Halaby discussed ideas about Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants available mentioning MIT as an example, where anyone can utilize their $20,000,000 facility to develop a project, and posed the question as to why Georgia Southern University did not have a similar “Fab Lab”.

After Dr. Halaby’s speech, the president of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), Matt Chambers updated the attendees on what SIFE had accomplished during his first year as president. He talked about the “Eagle Green Cup” created by SIFE students in a partnership with Eagle Dining Services in order to cut the amount of Styrofoam cups and plastic bottle usage on campus. He also mentioned the effort to raise 8400lbs of food for the Statesboro food bank and $7,000 for the Hearts and Hands clinic. The team also competed at the Regionals competition and got 1st Runner-up. The organization’s next steps are to create a community garden, rebuild the Restore in Statesboro and win the Regionals competition in order to go to the Nationals.

Following Matt, Dr. Luke Pittaway started his annual report on the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership. The Center’s main achievement was the launch of the Entrepreneur Zone in August 2011. All the Center’s resources were moved to the E-Zone and five Management classes were held in the building, bringing a total student foot-traffic of 3900 visits. Major events at the E-Zone , have included the Writing and Linguistics Department, Statesboro Downtown Master-plan, the E-Zone Forums, with a total of 39 events, with a total foot-traffic of 859 visitors (between October and December 2012). General awareness of the Center has improved but there is still plenty of work to do in order to enhance awareness of the E-Zone both on and off campus.

The entrepreneurship program is seeing the effects of the launch of the new minor in entrepreneurship and small business management. As of Spring 2012, all sections of classes have filled. There was an increase in the number of students of 6%, totaling 370 (following a 55% increase in 2011).  The students in the MBA entrepreneurship classes have undertaken business plans for 3 local businesses for the first time. Chris Welter (Ohio) has been recruited as the new Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship starting in August 2012.

The Center’s website with the contribution of our journalism intern (Natalie Demarko) had 12,000 unique visits, an increase of 100% from last year.

Dr. Jerry W. Wilson, Chair of Management, Marketing, and Logistics Department spoke after Dr. Pittaway. He was impressed by the achievements taken by the entrepreneurship program over the past year. He mentioned how the university aims to keep growing with a projection of 25,000 students by the first 5 years of Dr. Keel’s presidency, where COBA students’ enrollment should grow following the same path and contributing to the continued growth of the entrepreneurship program.

The next item of business was a discussion of ideas about entrepreneurship education across the entire university with the basic movement to help students start businesses. The topic of conversation then turned to the next Georgia Bowl competition and the need for more technology based ideas from outside companies who could link together with the Georgia Southern MBA students. The meeting went on to discuss a summary of strategic plans for the Center.

Chair Williams and Dr. Pittaway led the Advisory Council meeting with a strategic planning SWOT analysis for the upcoming year. The group identified some particular strengths and opportunities that will contribute for the growth of the Center over the course of the next five years.   All were in strong agreement that the Center’s strengths included its growing reputation, massive activity level, leadership, and its unique marketing niche.  Furthermore, some of the recognized opportunities for increased success were the E-Zone building and location, an enhancement of marketing materials, and the wide-array entrepreneurship inspired programs that could be developed in the E-Zone.   The analysis of the year identified some weaknesses and threats.  For example, the council noted that there are currently not enough E-Zone members to consider it a success and that resource constraints continue.  At the conclusion, Chair Williams praised Luke for his successful year and thanked all Advisory Council members for their participation.  Williams also recognized each Council Action Committee for updates.  Lastly, under new business a motion was unanimously approved to begin semi-annual C.E.L.L. Advisory Council meetings starting this Fall 2012.  The meeting was then adjourned.

A sincere thanks goes out to all in attendance for their involvement and contributions to the success of the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership.

GSU SIFE wins first runner-up!

On April 2nd, 2012, the Georgia Southern University SIFE team was one of the many colleges and universities in the United States that were invited to send a team to one of 11 Regional Competitions held around the country. Through a written annual report and live audiovisual presentation, teams reported the results of their community outreach projects to panels of business leaders serving as judges. The teams were evaluated based on how successful they were at using business concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need. Competing teams were divided among separate leagues, with approximately five to seven teams per league. On average, two or three teams from each league were named regional champions and qualified for the SIFE USA National Exposition.  The GSU SIFE team faced some very tough opposition in their league, but were fortunate enough to come away with a First Runner-Up trophy!  Since the team at the early stages in its development, they were very excited about this accomplishment, and are focused on advancing to the National Competition next year.

In addition to the competition, an all-day career fair and the Top to Future-Top Forum held during lunch further enhanced the unique connections these events create among the student, academic and business leaders in attendance.  It was truly an inspiring experience to witness what more established student led teams are doing in their community, and this experience will only help our team to grow.

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Changing lives a break at a time

While some students may prefer to spend their Spring Breaks lavishing in the sun and engaging in unmentionable activities, there are others that selflessly volunteer their time towards making a lasting difference in the world.  Fortunately, Georgia Southern University has a platform that can utilize these community leaders to provide service to those in need all over the world called the Alternative Break Program.  The purpose is for students to participate in intensive service experiences that provide them an opportunity to make a true difference in the lives of others by giving of themselves while sacrificing their breaks from school during Spring, Summer, and Winter breaks.

Through collaboration with the Alternative Break Program and SIFE, I was able to experience the magic that occurs on these very powerful trips as we ventured to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas.  Heifer Ranch is 1,200 acre farm that offers inspirational global education experiences by introducing the participants to the idea that a single person can make a difference in ending hunger and poverty.  One of the most notable highlights of the trip was the Night in the Global Village.  It was here where members were given an allotted amount of resources that directly related to what a family in global poverty would possess, and were sent to beg, barter, and trade for necessities that they didn’t have to survive through the night.  Families ranged from Thailand to non-communicable refugees, and showed participants the severe need for the world to work together to conquer starvation and poverty. This was truly an eye-opening experience, and gave everyone involved a greater appreciation for their possessions.

As individuals reflected on their experiences at the ranch, everyone agreed that the trip had truly changed their outlook on life.  The education they took from the journey provided them with the knowledge to even devise several plans to assess the necessities of their own community, and begin working on establishing sustainable projects for these needs.  This trip is a direct testament to all of the amazing things that the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement is doing for the community and the students of Georgia Southern University. SIFE will forever be grateful for the partnership as we have aspirations of bringing every aspect together to truly make a positive difference on our community.

Furthermore, to ensure the longevity of these programs donations are essential.  Please support our efforts to provide more alternative break trip opportunities and to provide scholarships for students to participate. Donations can be made via check made payable to The Georgia Southern University Foundation, please include “Acct. #0757,” on the for/memo line and send to Alternative Break Program, PO Box 8114, Statesboro, GA 30460. Donations can also be made on-line at by listing “Account #0757” in the Comments/Designation box of the on-line form.

Also, Heifer International has multiple giving solutions.  By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, they empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope.  With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways.  They refer to the animals as “living loans” because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal’s offspring to another family in need. It’s called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace. Help provide livestock, seeds, or training to a family struggling with hunger and poverty.

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Helping Hands to assist the Hearts and Hands Clinic

“Helping Hands” is an enterprise that was started by the students of Dr. Pittaway’s Appliled Small Business Management course, and is dedicated to assisting the Hearts and Hands Clinic of Statesboro, Georgia with funds to sustain operations.  Initiated by Andres Mortes and Emmie Boyer in 2008, the Hearts and Hands Clinic is a venture led by approximately 15 college students that has made significant progress within the community. The clinic is an organization devoted to providing quality health care to low income individuals lacking health care insurance.

“This venture has developed into much more than a student project. We are not only bringing free healthcare to a market that desperately needs it, but we are also giving hope and optimism in a time when many people are struggling.” – the Hearts and Hands Clinic – A VIM Alliance

Throughout the semester, Helping Hands has been planning to host numerous events in an effort to meet their goal. The group’s first major fundraising event took place on February 15, 2012. Helping Hands raffled off a $100 gas card to one lucky winner in exchange for a $2 donation. The event was a tremendous success. With only a week to sell raffle tickets at their disposal, the group managed to raise approximately $1000 for the cause. Congratulations to Angie Edenfield of Bellies and Babies in Statesboro, GA for being the recipient of this acclaimed prize.

Additionally, Helping Hands has sponsored the event “Pie for the People,” a pizza sale fundraiser on Georgia Southern University’s campus. Thus far, this event has taken place in two locations on campus—the College of Business Administration and the Russell Union. and has been a success as well.

Currently, Helping Hands is doing everything possible to ensure the sustainability and success of the Hearts and Hands Clinic; however, they cannot accomplish this on their own! THEY NEED YOUR HELP! The organization accepts donations in the form of cash, check, money order, or merchandise (subject to aid in further donation collection). Checks and money orders can be written out to “Helping Hands”, and mailed to (Georgia Southern University, Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership, PO Box 8154).  All donations are tax refundable!

Food for Thought on March 15th

 The next event in ATDC’s and the Creative Coast’s Entrepreneur Food for Thought Series will take place March 15th, 11.30am-1.00pm, at the campus of Georgia Tech Savannah. Jennifer Abshire, CEO, founder and chief creative officer of Abshire Public Relations, will speak about “Entrepreneurial Public Relations”.

About the Presentation:

You’ve started your own business and you’re ready to let the world know. Now it’s time to add public relations, an essential component of success, to the list of your entrepreneurial skills. Public relations is human relations and a critical aspect of growing your business. Everything you say and do is part of your PR campaign. It is the image you project every day to everyone you meet. It is about you and your company becoming a force in the public eye on a regular basis. PR that you undertake yourself can be a primary way to grow your business and become known without major expense.

For more information and to register before 3/13, please go to

The event is sponsored by ATDC Savannah and the Creative Coast

Hope to see you March 15th!

Entrepreneurs of the future

As most local businesses know, getting students to come downtown to experience all of the great things that Statesboro has to offer is quite difficult.  With all of the competition from corporate chains located on Northside Drive, some Georgia Southern Students never even visit the local businesses located in the city center throughout their entire pursuit of a 4-year degree.  Trinity Christian School has a plan of their own though, and it is to introduce their scholars to the wonderful world of Main Street at the prime ages of 7-9, so that they are made aware of what is available to them.  On a Valentine’s Day Field Trip, over 40 grade school children, chaperoned by teachers and volunteering parents, walked the streets of Statesboro, and visited multiple businesses that kindly accommodated the group by explaining the importance of their operations and providing a Valentine’s Treat.  At the end of the tour was the Entrepreneur Zone where one of our own, Jaye Parker, explained the necessity for entrepreneurs and innovation in Statesboro to spark economic development so that the city can continue to prosper.  At the end of the day, their bellies were filled with sugar and minds were jam-packed with knowledge.  There is no doubt that they will be future entrepreneurs, and a sincere thanks goes out to all that made this event possible.

Alternative Forms of Credit Grow

In this week’s Eagle Executive Briefings column, “Alternative forms of credit grow,” published in Business in Savannah, Luke Pittaway explained the factors limiting job creation and economic growth.

Luke writes:

“If entrepreneurs can’t find funds to start and small businesses can’t find funds to expand, we face a serious investment crisis that will impact job creation.  Uncertainty in markets may be holding back large corporations from creating new jobs, but the ‘credit freeze’ is killing the job creation potential of entrepreneurs.”

Luke goes on to describe a novel governmental approach to financing new ventures in the United Kingdom.  He also identifies internet sites that specialize in “crowdfunding” and if you don’t know what that term means, then you definitely need to read Luke’s column.

Conflict Resolution Without Confrontation

Entrepreneur Food for Thought Series

Brought to you by:


Conflict Resolution Without Confrontation

Presented by:

Diane L. Katz, PhD

President, The Working Circle Teambuilding, Inc.

Thursday October 20, 2011, 11:30-1:00pm

 Georgia Tech Savannah Campus, Rm. 255, PARB Building


To attend, please sign up at by Tuesday, October 18, 2011


About the Presentation:

–Learn how a balanced, non-linear process can assist in the resolution of conflicts –The Working Circle

–Learn some basic communication skills to assist in the resolution of conflict

Dr. Katz, will offer an interactive presentation on how to resolve conflicts without confrontation. For those of us who have a hard time with conflict, or those of us who find ourselves caught up in conflict too often, this will be a highly informative session. The Working Circle®, an 8-step conflict resolving and problem-solving process, was developed by Diane when she got her PhD in Conflict Resolution. It is a highly unusual process, combining eastern and western thought, as well as masculine and feminine approaches. From cowboys to corporate executives, Diane has used The Working Circle® with great success, and brings it to this presentation for all to take home and apply in their personal and professional lives.

About the Speaker:

Diane Katz’s passion is peace. Starting out as a drug counselor in New York City, then on to Wall Street as a Human Resources Executive for American Express, Chase, KPMG, and Alexander & Alexander, she has always pursued avenues of collaboration and compassion.

Dr. Katz has worked with organizations and professionals for over 40 years. With a Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology (Columbia) and a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution (Union Institute), she has applied her education to organizations large and small. Diane has spoken to groups across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. She has spoken about decision-making, conflict resolution, communication, organization development, and professional development.

Dr. Katz started her consulting company, The Working Circle®, in 1995. The Working Circle provides organizational development, human resources, teambuilding, training and coaching to organizations. The Working Circle®, the process that Diane developed, assists groups and individuals in making decisions and resolving conflicts. Her book is, “Win at Work! The everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution”. Diane was a winner of the Spirit of Philanthropy Award in Tucson in 2010.