'Sign of the Times': Innovation Theme of Entrepreneurial Summit
Are entrepreneurs born or trained?
“Research shows that it’s a little bit of both,” said Ramin Maysami, dean of the School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. “Entrepreneurship is characterized by two things — creativity and innovation.”
Maysami will kick off the Sandhills Entrepreneurial Summit on April 24 at Sandhills Community College when he talks about innovation in entrepreneurial business.
“I will use a combination of examples, such as Apple, to show how the elements of creativity and innovation can be there from Day One and remain once the business matures,” he said. “It’s very important because small businesses drive the economy in this country.”
Patrick Coughlin, president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, said Maysami will be giving the “30,000-foot view” of innovation.
“We wanted somebody to set the stage, and we chose ‘innovation’ as the theme because we think it’s a sign of the times,” Coughlin said. “No matter what type of business you’re in, right now you need to be innovative because the competition is so strong.”
Coughlin said the globalization of business and Internet sales affect even the smallest of businesses.
“We want our local businesses to wrap their heads around innovation,” he said. “Being innovative doesn’t necessarily mean re-engineering your business. It may be that only a minor adjustment is needed to make a major impact.”
Maysami will be followed by Monica Doss, of Bull City Forward, a Durham-based nonprofit focused on catalyzing sustainable enterprises. Bull City Forward builds pipelines of future entrepreneurs through school and university partnerships, recruitment of outside talent and retaining existing talent, among other methods.
“Monica is going to talk about innovative ways communities can help foster entrepreneurship,” Coughlin said. “How do you create innovative space? How do you attract innovative people? It’s a bridge to somewhere we’re going in the future.”
Following a short break, a panel discussion will ensue featuring Claudia Miller, of Morgan Miller in Southern Pines; Bryon Morris, of Blue’s Crossing Barbershop in Aberdeen; Mike Ratkowski, of Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen; and Al Quiros, of Telum Protection Corp. in Southern Pines.
“The panelists are where the rubber is going to meet the road,” Coughlin said. “We found last year that the panelists were the most popular aspect of the summit, especially the question-and-answer sessions. That’s where entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs really learn, and that’s extremely valuable.”
There will be a lunch break after the panel, then Moore County native John Parker, of Good Work in Raleigh, will close the summit. Good Work is a nonprofit collaborative with a community development mission to strengthen communities through entrepreneurship that is resilient, culturally appropriate and collaborative.
“John is going to talk about social entrepreneurism, then he’ll kind of tie everything together,” Coughlin said.
There is no cost to attend the summit, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Van Dusen Hall, but registration is required. For more information, call (910) 692-3926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Ted M. Natt at email@example.com.
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