December 10, 2018  

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Southern Miss Hosts State Competition for High School Entrepreneurs

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Petal High School students Luke High and McKay Eaton describe the concept behind "Kevin's Kandies" during the SEP State Business Plan Competition held May 10 at the Trent Lott Center. (University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) concluded its series of educational high school events and competitions on Tuesday, May 10, by hosting its 9th annual SEP State Business Plan Competition on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus.

The Mississippi Department of Education served as the lead sponsor of the event, while the Southern Miss College of Business and Georgia-Pacific Leaf River Cellulose, LLC lent assistance.

Through a series of regional and online qualifiers held last month, the top 20 student business plans from across Mississippi were individually selected to advance and participate in the state finale. Award winners include the following:

Division 1 (“pre-launch” businesses still in the early “idea” stage)

* 1st Place -- Business: Stylist on the Go
   Student(s): Ashlynn McBride
   School: Gulfport High School

* 2nd Place -- Business: Animals have Hope
   Student(s): Hope Whittington
   School: Florence High School

* 3rd Place -- Business: Seasonal Goodies Gift Bags
   Student(s): Kenley Brooks, Kennedy Corey, Jaela McAfee
   School: Germantown High School

Division 2 (“up & running” businesses that are generating revenue)

* 1st Place -- Business: Kevin's Kandies
   Student(s): McKay Eaton, Luke High
   Petal High School

* 2nd Place -- Business: Flare Clothing
   Student(s): Anthony Murray
   School: Biloxi High School

* 3rd Place -- Business: KPS Monograms
   Student(s): Kamri Streb
   School: Gulfport High School

Making Money Now! Challenge (SEP Entrepreneur of the Year award, recognizing one student for demonstrating the ability to “bootstrap” their way into business with $10 or less and growing the business over the school year)

Student: Anthony Murray
School: Biloxi High School

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) is offered as an experiential education program for Mississippi’s high school students and is operated by the Southern Miss Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education. For further information, contact James Wilcox at james.b.wilcox@usm.edu.