Cory Hankins | July 23, 2020
Earlier this year, 60 local entrepreneurs began the first-ever South Bend Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program (SBEAP), an integrated training program introduced by the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs. Designed to support members of the community in starting and growing businesses of their own, the 12-month program unites university and city resources to help create sustainable ventures and provide a pathway out of poverty.
The program consists of five stages: training, mentoring, consulting, community connect, and research and tracking. Participants begin with six Saturdays of training that addresses the nature of the entrepreneurial journey and introduces basic tools and concepts that are critical for new venture success. Even with the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, fifty-one people completed the first stage of the program.
The founder of the program is Michael Morris, a Keough School faculty member. Morris brings more than 35 years of entrepreneurship experience to South Bend and has previously launched major poverty initiatives in Syracuse, New York and Gainesville, Florida.
“What inspires me is that these ventures are progressing—moving forward even in this most difficult of time periods,” Morris said. “The participants deal with a lot but they remain positive, taking one step at a time to move forward with their entrepreneurial dreams. It is such a privilege to be a part of their journeys.”
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