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April 4, 2012
For the third consecutive year, Northwest Missouri State University’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team has qualified for the national contest by winning its regional competition.
The team was crowned League 1 Champion March 30 at the 2012 SIFE USA Regional Competition in Seattle. It marks the fifth time the Northwest SIFE team has qualified for the national competition in 13 years.
Nineteen teams competed in the competition and were divided into four leagues. The Seattle contest is one of 11 SIFE regional competitions throughout the country at which teams compete for spots in the national competition May 22-24 in Kansas City, Mo.
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 12 projects it completed during the school year. Among them, the team organized its annual Youth Entrepreneurship Simulation (YES) Business Camp and a Disney web-based business game for fourth graders at Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School. The YES camp is a one-day simulation that puts fifth and sixth graders in charge of a small city and teaches them about the basics of running a business. The Disney website, which is co-sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, involves students acting as entrepreneurs and developing virtual businesses using concepts of market opportunity, philanthropy, supply and demand, and brand awareness.
“I think the two most meaningful projects are the YES Business Camp and the Disney Business website,” SIFE President Jason Orme said. “Both projects deal with educating grade school students on business and entrepreneurship, and it is pretty entertaining to see the types of business ideas they can come up with at such a young age.”
The team also gave ethics presentations and hosted a business etiquette seminar for high school students. The SIFE team’s sixth annual Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) DAY in Chillicothe brought together 108 high school students who were assigned to address marketing, customer service and other needs of area businesses.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing skills needed to become socially responsible business leaders.
The 2011-12 Northwest SIFE team consists of Orme, Mallory Brown, Taryn Hill, Chelsea Gassman, Lauren Arens, Patrick Closser, Ash Gambhir, Dali Wang and Jeremy Espey. Dr. Jason White, associate professor in the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, serves as SIFE Sam Walton Fellow.
Orme credits the leadership and commitment of team members, as well as support from local communities, for the team’s success. He noted the majority of the team is comprised of students who are working toward Master of Business Administration degrees at Northwest.
“SIFE's success this year is due to the quality, leadership and dedication of the members of the organization,” Orme said. “The students benefit by being a part of the largest college student organization in the world. They have access to job fairs and recruiters that most college students don’t have. There are many large international corporations that use SIFE for the majority of their recruiting. In the past, our members have gotten ‘dream jobs’ that they would not have had access to without SIFE.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468