December 11, 2018  

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Southern Entrepreneurship Program Kickoff Set for Oct. 23

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The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) is set to kick off its 12th annual series of youth trainings and competitions on Tuesday, Oct. 23rd at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss.

More than 450 students and educators, representing dozens of high schools from across the state, have registered to attend this year's event. SEP programming is a cornerstone service of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education, housed within The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Business and Economic Development. 

The kickoff event is designed to provide students an interactive introduction to entrepreneurship and will be hosted at Hinds Community College’s Clyde Muse Center and co-sponsored by Georgia-Pacific Leaf River Cellulose, LLC. 

"Since 2007, the SEP has directly worked with 5,000 high school students and educators from across the state. The past dozen years have brought significant growth in school participation and in the value of SEP partnerships, programming, and educational resources made available through our network." stated James Wilcox, the Director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education. 

Six young Jackson-area entrepreneurs will be joining the day's agenda, providing first-hand narratives of their personal experiences and sacrifices in business development. These inspirational entrepreneurs will include JJ Townsend of Citizenville.org, Christopher Lomax of Pearlbend, Leslie Saucier of Leslie Saucier Art, Nick Wallace of Nick Wallace Culinary, Chelsey Jones of Makeup by Chels, and Josh Frazier of Torrus.

Following a Q&A session with these guest entrepreneurs, student teams will then be presented with the day’s Innovation Challenge: identifying factors contributing to Mississippi's battle with post-graduation "Brain Drain" and leveraging regional opportunities and resources to create unique solutions. Teams will be tasked with setting SMART goals, determining future impacts, and developing promotional materials for their proposals.

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP), an outreach of the Southern Miss Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education, is a statewide youth initiative designed to advance innovation and entrepreneurship education in Mississippi. For further information, contact James Wilcox at james.b.wilcox@usm.edu.