The Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won the Rookie of the Year award at the 2006 SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City, Mo., Monday. The team also was named first runner up in the Entrepreneurship competition, behind Drury University, the national champion two years in a row.
The entrepreneurship competition awards the SIFE teams that were most effective in teaching entrepreneurship skills through outreach projects in their communities. As the first runner up in entrepreneurship, Belmont’s SIFE team was recognized at the national exposition and received a $2,000 cash award and trophy.
The Belmont University SIFE team, under the leadership of assistant finance professor, John Gonas, was created a year ago and qualified for the national exposition after winning first place in the Southeast regional SIFE competition in April.
The Belmont SIFE team projects included a volunteer income tax assistance program for low-income and elderly taxpayers, raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa by generating funds to support relief efforts, assisting the Nashville-based non-profit organization, Thistle Farms, by helping employees develop a business plan, providing graduating college seniors with information regarding finances and money management and assisting minority-owned businesses in the greater Nashville area with their basic business needs. For a complete report on the SIFE team’s projects, click here.
“The Belmont College of Business SIFE team exceeded all of our expectations for their first year. The team consisted of enthusiastic, smart and truly caring students who worked hard to develop the quality and content of their presentations,” Dr. Pat Raines, dean of the College of Business Administration, said. “The projects they completed were meaningful and fulfilling and were highly valued by the organizations that received them. From helping Mama Turney’s Pies organize their financials to helping Thistle Farms at the Magdeline House develop a successful grassroots marketing program, the projects were exemplary of the SIFE mission.”
SIFE is an international, non-profit organization active on over 1,000 college and university campuses in more than 40 countries. SIFE students form teams that serve their communities by developing projects that take what they are learning in their classrooms about business and use it to solve real world problems for real people. The SIFE program concentrates on five areas: entrepreneurship, market economics, success skills, financial literacy and business ethics. Each year, the teams present their projects at competition where they are judged on creativity, innovation and effectiveness.