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FMU’s Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute sponsors high school students in contest


The Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute at Francis Marion University will sponsor the work of three high school students participating in the Yes Carolina Program for Entrepreneurship this month. 

On June 2, Wilson High School Entrepreneurship Club students Detria Graham, Jamal Hickson and Javae McWhite will learn whether they will receive the $200 cash prize for the marketing plan they submitted in the Angie the Ant™ Marketing Plan Contest.

Susi B. Marketing developed the Angie the Ant™ brand for consumption by the children and teen market, ages 4 to 14. The fundamental purpose of the contest is to expose students to real world entrepreneurship and new venture planning while establishing a strong brand identity for Angie the Ant™. 

“We believe this contest will help participants develop the critical thinking, writing and organizational skills required to develop a successful business venture,” said Brianna Zhang, teacher for the Wilson Entrepreneurship Club and administrative associate for the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute.

The students, who are graduates of the 2007 FMU Biz Camp, are developing a marketing plan for the Angie the Ant™ brand that utilizes marketing tactics that build brand momentum and attracts new customers with minimal capital expenditure, Zhang said.

Teachers provide guidance and direction throughout the duration of the contest to educate students about the requirements for developing a successful marketing plan. All strategies and tactics must be approved by an instructor before submission. 

The winning submission will be awarded a $200 cash prize, the winning teacher will receive $100 and the student’s school will win a visit from Angie the Ant. If the Wilson students win, Zhang's cash prize will go to the students who will share the $300.

In addition to sponsoring high school students who are on the entrepreneurial track, the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute assists small-business owners in the Pee Dee area who are in need of a helping hand in getting started with a business plan. 

Part of FMU’s School of Business since 1972, the charge of the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute is to teach and support entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic, business and nonprofit communities.  

The institute creates comprehensive business plans for its clients, who can then approach various financial sources with the information required for procuring funding. The business plans are developed by student work teams. The institute can also offer an intern to help with various management functions for five hours per week over the course of a semester through its internship program.

The Small Business Institute also serves as a clearing house for clients who need specific research, marketing, technology or accounting help, by directing them to other FMU professors who may have class projects to address those specific needs. The institute brings together the teaching and research activities of faculty across several disciplines into a more effective, concentrated initiative with strong ties to the business community. 

An outstanding entrepreneurship curriculum taught by an excellent faculty has earned the academic program its reputation as one of the best in the state.  

For more information, call Joe Aniello, director of the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute, at 843-661-1112.

#186 / 5-6-08

Last Published: May 7, 2008 9:10 AM
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