The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 10, 2013

NWOSU seminar to help create entrepreneurs

ENID, Okla. — By Robert Barron

Staff Writer

A lot of people have dreamed about starting their own business, but did not pursue that dream; many things get in the way.

But, this week, Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid will present a seminar for people to learn the traits of successful entrepreneurs, which may help them achieve that dream.

The seminar will be held noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, 2929 E. Randolph. It is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast to all NWOSU campuses: Woodward, Alva and Ponca City.

In a seminar sponsored by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, nationally recognized experts on entrepreneurs, along with a group of successful local entrepreneurs, will talk to attendees. U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn also will make remarks and hold a public meeting.

The seminar will present how they succeeded, with Dr. Tony Woodlief and Dr. Ernesto Sirolli also on hand to speak.

Woodlief is vice president for academic programs at the Market-Based Management Institute, which is focused on advancing the understanding and practice of market-based management among nonprofits, universities, and other community organizations. Previously, he was president of The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a center for economic research, education and outreach. Before joining Mercatus, Woodlief was vice president for education projects at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, where he worked with university research centers specializing in economics, entrepreneurship and social change.

Sirolli has a doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan, and his writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The London Times and WORLD Magazine.

He is a noted authority in the field of sustainable economic development, and is in demand as a speaker worldwide. He also is the founder of the Sirolli Institute, an international nonprofit organization that teaches community leaders how to establish and maintain enterprise facilitation projects in their community.

Coburn is scheduled to appear 3-4 p.m. Friday. He will hold a private discussion, followed by a public reception.

Woodlief will speak from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday and 9-10 a.m. Friday, and Sirolli will speak 5-6 p.m. Thursday with an invited dinner reception following.

The seminar was made possible by a grant from Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Ward Petroleum and other local corporate sponsors, said Robyn Eitzen of NWOSU.

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation was established in 1980 by Charles G. Koch, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc. The mission of the foundation is to advance social progress and well-being through the development, application and dissemination of the science of liberty. The foundation primarily supports research and education programs that analyze the impact of free societies.  

Local entrepreneurs that will speak include Sal Alvarado, C&C Dry Cleaning; Marlin Esau, Marsau Enterprises; Cara Carson, Private Partners Opportunities Fund; Vicki Brown, T-Shirt Store; Cecilia Holle, GYM; Lynn Biddle, McDonald’s franchises; and Connie Sturgeon-Hart, Chick-fil-A.

“The purpose is to get entrepreneurs together and discuss ideas for people who want to do it,” Eitzen said.

Among the ideas to be discussed are that change encourages growth; funding a dream; and it’s easier to succeed than fail, Eitzen said. “They are uplifting, upbeat talks — positive ways to get a business off the ground.”љ

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