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Mississippi College Students Join Entrepreneurship Forum

MC School of Business professor John Brandon
MC School of Business professor John Brandon

Mississippi College students will showcase their entrepreneurial skills at a spring forum in Vicksburg.

The 2021 Mississippi Entrepreneurship Forum will take place at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The April 2-3, 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But supporters are preparing to bring the event to the River City by early April.

“We look forward to hosting the entrepreneurship program,” said Erin Southard, events manager with the Vicksburg Convention Center.

John Brandon, leader of Mississippi College’s entrepreneurship program, discussed the upcoming event during an appearance on Mary Weiden’s “SuperTalk” radio show Tuesday.

In a couple of months, the event will attract entrepreneurs, economic developers, innovators, and future business owners, along with students from MC and other Mississippi institutions.

It will include a Student Business Pitch Competition so undergraduates can develop plans and defend their ideas before interested audiences.

Students will “make pitches to investors,” Brandon said on the statewide radio talk show in Jackson.

The forum is tentatively set for late March or early April. The MC School of Business professor hopes COVID-19 vaccines will make a big difference to combat the virus. 

The two-day forum should be a terrific learning experience for students at MC and other schools. Key sponsors of the event include Innovate Mississippi and the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi.

Students with the J.L. Holloway Center for Entrepreneurship at Mississippi College will work with counterparts at other schools statewide.

Students learn to evaluate potential new ventures by majoring in the Christian university’s entrepreneurship program. A minor is offered as well to students in various disciplines, such as music, art, Christian Studies, history, communication, or English.

MC’s emphasis on building faith is so important to the program, Brandon said.

These days, many university students are eager to explore options in the business world, whether in small towns or big cities.

“More and more people do want to start their own business,” Brandon told Weiden during the one-hour radio show on January 12.

People are not just pondering a business launch with the idea of making money. A large number are just passionate about doing something that “gives you joy in life,” Brandon said.

The passion of Americans promoting their business dreams can be seen weekly on ABC’s popular “Shark Tank” show.

Brandon worked with the Mississippi Development Authority and helped develop business ventures in the Delta before joining Mississippi College’s faculty in 2016.

He’s involved with other projects in the pipeline for the new year on the Clinton campus.

One of the MC entrepreneurship initiatives at Self Hall was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and early in the new year.

The MC effort is designed to assist poor people in Honduras with essential needs such as drinking water and food. Students seek to work with a Jackson-based ministry to serve people in the Central American nation. Due to the health crisis, the CDC has advised travelers to avoid Honduras. Supporters hope to develop a way to teach potential entrepreneurs.