Students to participate in entrepreneur program
By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service
CHARLOTTE — More than a dozen Livingstone College students will participate in an initiative sponsored by the White House that will bring together leading young entrepreneurs to share innovative ideas and get business tips.
Beside the White House Business Council, The Young Entrepreneur Series is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Education and is being held in Biddle Hall at Johnson C. Smith University.
Among the participating Livingstone students is Samuel Exum, a sophomore accounting major from Goldsboro. Exum is president of Livingstone College’s Students in Free Enterprise Team.
SIFE is an international, nonprofit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize college students to make a difference in their communities while developing skills necessary to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams at their campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
“I thought it would be a good experience because all of the SIFE members are new and they don’t have that much information on free enterprise, so I thought it’d be good for us to attend this,” Exum said.
He learned about the event from Dr. Colin Pillay, chairman of Livingstone College’s business administration department.
“I realize student organizations here at Livingstone College get to participate in some events, however, I feel there’s a bigger emphasis placed on athletics,” Exum said. “When Dr. Pillay told me about the Young Entrepreneur Series last week, I immediately went online to get information and decided it would be a beneficial event for me and some of my colleagues to attend. I’m looking forward to the speakers and the information they’re going to provide us.”
Marie Johns, deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Dr. Leonard Haynes, senior director of institutional service for the U.S. Department of Education, will speak at the event.
A news release about the event stated the following goal: “To bring together leading young entrepreneurs, public and private resources, youth advocacy organizations and government experts to listen, address critical challenges and formulate public policy measures needed to move the young entrepreneur’s business agenda to the next level.”
Anitra Kelly, administrative assistant in the business administration department and a junior at Livingstone College, said the Young Entrepreneurs Series presents a great opportunity for students.
“I think we have an extraordinary group of future entrepreneurs, and it’s important for them to be a part of this event,” Kelly said.
She recently attended a networking event in Raleigh hosted by 100 Black Men at which 10 black female presidents of various companies were honored.
“After meeting several phenomenal women there I am even more motivated to start my own business so I can help bring jobs to our economy and particularly to the African-American community,” Kelly said. “I can’t wait to learn some sage business advice today.”