April 8, 2010
Another Northwest team has qualified for national competition. This time it's the University's Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, which qualified for the national contest by winning its regional competition March 19 in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The team brought home the regional championship trophy by beating the University of Southern California, New Mexico State University, Pepperdine University, the University of Arizona and Azusa Pacific University. Eleven SIFE regional competitions are taking place around the country through April 13 with about 400 colleges competing for spots in the national competition, which will be May 11-13 in Minneapolis. The Northwest SIFE team is making its first trip back to national competition since 2005.
During the regional competitions, teams must present written annual reports and live audio-visual presentations showing the results of their annual community outreach projects to panels of business leaders serving as judges. The teams are evaluated on how successful they were at creating economic opportunities for others.
The Northwest SIFE team presented eight of the 15 projects it completed during the school year. Among its projects, the team organized Youth Entrepreneurship Day in Chillicothe, a Disney web-based game at Horace Mann and the YES Business Camp at Northwest. The team also designed a marketing plan for Kincaid Gardens, gave ethics presentations to high school students and helped Northwest acquire a glass shredder to enhance recycling efforts.
"The Northwest SIFE Team three years ago started evaluating how we could change our annual report and presentation," SIFE Student Adviser Clifton Wilson said. "I will say that the entire team has worked very hard to reach this goal."
Northwest's SIFE team is dedicated to increasing the entrepreneurial skills of the campus community and the surrounding area by providing them with learning opportunities revolving around entrepreneurship, business ethics and personal financial development in the local and global economy.
In February, SIFE hosted its fifth annual YES Camp for Maryville fifth- and sixth-graders, with more than 40 Northwest and Maryville students participating in the event. YES, which stands for Youth Entrepreneurship Simulation, focuses on educating students on the basics of running a business for a day. Northwest's SIFE team created the event in 2004.
The camp is set up as a small city, complete with a mayor, police department, banker, post office, radio station, newspaper and various other businesses. The businesses must have a business plan and keep track of their transactions during the five-hour event. At the end of the day, each business counts its money to determine whether it was profitable. Each business also has the opportunity to purchase advertising space from the newspaper and airtime from the radio station.
The 2009-10 SIFE team consists of Jason Orme, Jamie Webster, Tiffany Rose, Heather Smith, Talia Brady, John Cook, Christina Jennings, Heather Niece, Russell Bowman, Travis Luethje and Laura Thomas. In addition to Wilson's advising, Dr. Jason White '91 serves as SIFE Sam Walton Fellow.