California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, 4/29/22 San Diego

A special group of entrepreneurship professors were assembled by Alex DeNoble of San Diego State University’s Lavin Center for this years California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (CEEC) and offered free to all comers online.  We counted four past USASBE (U. S. Assn of Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Presidents among the presenters, and topics were razor focused -the entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurship and the disadvantaged, and ethics and entrepreneurship.

Rebecca White, Chair and Director of the University of Tampa entrepreneurship center, led the mindset panel providing that part of her new book See, Do, Repeat about three elements of an entrepreneurial mindset.  Opportunity recognition must also include willing action and an ability to execute, the latter overcoming past failures, the ability to pivot, and optimism.  Dr. White shares her startup process on this Start here website:

Others in her panel, Jeffrey Stamp from the University of Minnesota and Jeffrey Hornsby from UMKC added intrinsic curiosity, a willingness to try new things, and exhaustive research to the topic with many resources.  Daspit et al. developed an integrated definition of the mindset as “a cognitive perspective that enables an individual to create value by recognizing and acting on opportunities, making decisions with limited information, and remaining adaptable and resilient in conditions that are often uncertain and complex.”

Another jewel of a panel was that of Dr. Mike Morris from Norte Dame who has established the Entrepreneurship Development Institute to eliminate impoverishment through entrepreneurship. Targets of his work are minorities and disadvantaged populations focused on Africa, Latin America and inner U. S. cities.  One participant from Dearborn MI uses project learning or PBL, project based learning, for students to experience the social benefit of small business enterprise in depressed neighborhoods.  Patrick Synder, Ex Director of Biz Starts Milwaukee told how he has adopted the model of helping underserved communities improve by helping disadvantaged entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.  His program teaches cohorts on Saturdays the basics like accounting, design thinking and business planning to build micro businesses that raise inner city’s economy.

Mike’s panel featured others who teach entrepreneurship as a pathway to reducing poverty.  One pointed-out the need to prepare students for their time in lower-income neighborhoods which includes humility training for better collaborations. Impoverished people are incredibly intelligent, but just did not have the same opportunities as those more fortunate.  Showing how to generate empathy for lower-income entrepreneurs increases the success of the program.  Generally speaking, business in general must play a role in abolishing impoverishment, and introducing corporation social responsibility programs into the disadvantaged communities has proven particularly effective over time.

Sponsors of the conference are going to share recordings and slides in the near future, and we will provide follow-up to this report in the near future.  Editor Clint Day


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