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NEWS

Jan. 31, 2007

Claremore Industrial Economic Development Authority and Rogers State University Joins EntrepreneurshipWeek USA as a Program Partner

Claremore Industrial Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) and Rogers State University has joined EntrepreneurshipWeek USA as program partners adding their support and resources to a national effort to inspire and encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice and to celebrate America's unique culture of inventiveness.

As a program partners to EntrepreneurshipWeek USA, CIEDA and Rogers State University will host and organize an event designed to inspire, educate and prepare college students to be among America's next great entrepreneurs and innovators.

With the theme,"What's Your Big Idea? Take it On!" EntrepreneurshipWeek USA will be conducted Feb. 24 – March 3, 2007. The initiative is designed to serve as an inspiration for young people to think creatively and to turn their ideas into action – whether that means starting a new business, developing an innovation for an existing company or solving a problem that makes society better. Official events are being planned in cities across the county, culminating in Washington, D.C, where the focus will be on the importance of policy to the nation's entrepreneurs.

EntrepreneurshipWeek USA is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and by government, not-for-profit organizations and businesses, including The New York Times and Inc. magazine. Additionally, the House of Representatives noted the importance of entrepreneurship education by enacting a Resolution (HR 699) in early June in support of a national entrepreneurship week.

"We are delighted with the leadership and expertise that Rogers State University and CIEDA brings to EntrepreneurshipWeek USA as program partners," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Educating our young people about entrepreneurship and reinforcing the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to our economy is critical to America's long-term prosperity – more so now than ever before."

CIEDA is pleased to partner with Rogers State University to encourage the development of entrepreneurship.  Mike Strotheide, CEO stated, "It is vitally important that we develop and support the entrepreneurs in the area.  As a region, we cannot rely only on recruiting of businesses or business retention efforts to maintain our growth.  We need to support and encourage our entrepreneur activities to broaden our economic base.  The EnreprepreneurshipWeek USA program highlights this important element of our economy.  The key to a successful sustainable economy is the entrepreneur who creates new jobs and wealth through innovation."

According to Kauffman Foundation research, 41 percent of children ages 9 -12 say they would like to start their own business.  "Young people have a natural desire for the independence and control that come with owning a business and being their own boss," Schramm said.

According to Dr. Ray Brown, vice president for economic and community development at Rogers State University, "the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in northeastern Oklahoma.  This region has a history of people who are independent and motivated. Pioneers who settled the area and the wildcatters who explored for oil are but two examples of many Oklahomans who were risk takers.  The rapid pace of change in our society creates opportunities.  Rather than lamenting the rapid pace, our communities embrace the change because of the opportunities that are created.  The future of the area will depend on harnessing our economy to people who will innovate, assume risk, and create competitive businesses that grow and create additional jobs.  The Innovation Center at RSU is pleased to join CIEDA in this effort to recognize and encourage entrepreneurship."

Entrepreneurship is a driving force of the U.S. economy. During the past 15 years, businesses less than five years old have accounted for about 70 percent of the net job creation in the United States. However, while America presently maintains the edge as an entrepreneurial society, there are clear signs of massive economic competition from abroad.  More Americans in the future will need to be generating more ideas and better innovations if the United States is to stay ahead of the large populations of educated citizens in emerging and globally savvy economies.   

For more information on events and activities across the country and information to engage young people on how to get involved in EntrepreneurshipWeek USA, please visit: www.EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.com.