Mississippi’s small business gets boost at Alcorn’s Entrepreneurial Explosion Summit

Mississippi’s small business gets boost at Alcorn’s Entrepreneurial Explosion Summit  

Over two hundred people attended the “Entrepreneurial Explosion: A Small Business Summit”, a free regional event, organized by Alcorn State University, Natchez, Inc., and Mississippi Development Authority. Participants from all over the state of Mississippi and Louisiana gathered in the Natchez Convention Center on April 23, 2013, to hear from federal, state and local experts, and receive information and advice on starting and sustaining a successful small business.

“The main goal of the Summit was to ensure that small businesses have access to the recourses they need to grow and succeed,” said Dr. Ruth Nichols, assistant vice president for educational and community partnerships at Alcorn. “The participants gained knowledge, inspiration and the promise of support for their individual ventures.”

Chris Hinton of Natchez, Inc, shared, “The quality of the panel discussions and the individual presentations made a strong statement for the value of the creative small business potential in our region. There is little doubt that the foundation of new small businesses was established at the Summit.”

The panel discussions and presentations included representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Delta Regional Authority, United States Department of Agriculture, Entergy, Mississippi, Inc., Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi State University CAVS Extension Center, Innovative Mississippi, City of Natchez, Mississippi Arts Commission, United Mississippi Bank, and several local organizations.

The keynote speaker for the Summit was Dr. Derek Greenfield, director of Educational Equity and Inclusion at Alcorn, who inspired the audience with his speech on the success of starting a business. Alcorn was also represented by administrators, faculty, staff and students. Vice President for Media Relations Clara Ross Stamps shared a valuable and upbeat presentation on marketing strategies for launching a small business, and Chief Information Officer Donna Hayden represented the Board of Mississippi Cultural Crossroads on the regional panel by providing insights for nonprofit organizations.

A number of sponsors supported the Summit, such as Alcorn State University, Entergy, Mississippi, Inc., Silas Simmons, LLC, Rural Jobs Accelerator Grant, Natchez Bank Association, Natchez Wealth Management, Callon Petroleum, Stephens & Hobdy Insurance, Gillon & Company, to name a few.

“The Entrepreneur Explosion has been one of the most gratifying and exciting events of my educational career,” shared Nichols. The energy and enthusiasm that were felt throughout the day were indications of a pervading atmosphere of unrealized potential and attitudes of hope. The growth of small businesses will continue to support the development of a stronger economy in southwestern Mississippi. Alcorn and its partners are proud to continue this upward trend in economic and community development.”

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