April 18, 2019  

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Young Entrepreneurs Present Ideas during Regional Competition

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Front row (pictured from left to right): SEP South Regional Qualifier winners Ondrea Ladner, Camryn Pierce, Ian Ryles, Jada Jackson, Brianna Kuryan, and Daisy Stutts. Back row: James Wilcox, Director of the Southern Entrepreneurship Program. Not Pictured: Courtland Barnes and Chelsey Ramsey. (Submitted photo)

Several South Mississippi students showcased their entrepreneurial ideas during The Southern Entrepreneurship Program’s 8th annual series of regional high school business plan competitions held Tuesday, March 24, in Long Beach, Miss.

The event, co-sponsored by The First - A National Banking Association and Georgia-Pacific Leaf River Cellulose, LLC, was presented through the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education as an educational outreach of The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business.

This event was the first of three regional qualifiers that together serve to identify the Southern Entrepreneurship Program’s top student presentations and advance them to the Program’s annual statewide business plan competition, scheduled for May 1. Student presentations represented personal businesses with products ranging from furniture and décor handcrafted from salvaged wooden pallets to services including photography and personal coaching.

Winners in the SEP’s first-year division were Daisy Stutts of Petal High School who was awarded first place for Daisy Stutts Photography; Brianna Kuryan and Jada Jackson of Gulfport High School who were awarded second place for their business Fleur de Bedl; Courtland Barnes and Chelsea Ramsey of Gulfport High School who were awarded third place for their business “The Show” Unique Bows; and Ian Ryles of Gulfport who was also awarded third place for his business idea CoachUp. Camryn Pierce and Ondrea Ladner of Poplarville were awarded first place in the SEP’s second-year division for their business Palleture.

The 2015 State Business Plan Competition will be held at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg on Friday, May 1. This statewide event will feature the top 25 business plans selected from among the Program’s regional qualifiers and will provide cash prizes to its finalists.

The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP), a statewide youth initiative designed to advance innovation and entrepreneurship education in Mississippi high schools. The SEP is operated by the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education, housed within The University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business.

SEP competition guidelines and awards information, along with information on SEP participation, are available on the Program’s website www.theSEP.org. For further information, please contact James Wilcox at james.b.wilcox@usm.edu.