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April 18, 2005 -- No. 185
Market Americaís $75,000 gift to benefit
UNCís Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative
CHAPEL HILL -- Market America, a Greensboro product brokerage and Internet marketing company, has given $75,000 in support of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillís Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI), officials announced at a dinner held Saturday (April 16).
The CEI helps faculty, staff and students launch commercial, social and artistic ventures. The $11 million program is funded in part by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, managed by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise within Kenan-Flagler Business School and led by faculty and staff from an array of disciplines. Successful entrepreneurs, many of them UNC alumni, serve as advisers, lending their real-world expertise.
The Carolina Challenge, an annual business-plan competition held under the auspices of the CEI, will use $25,000 of the Market America gift to increase its cash prizes from $25,500 to $50,500 in 2006. A $50,000 pledge from Market America over five years will support the entrepreneurship minor in UNCís College of Arts and Sciences. The minor, to be launched in fall 2005, gives non-business majors the skills needed to transform their ideas into viable enterprises.
"Market America's generosity to the CEI will enable us to upgrade the Carolina Challenge business plan competition and substantially improve the entrepreneurship minor in the College of Arts and Sciences," said Dr. John D. Kasarda, director of the CEI and of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and Kenan distinguished professor of entrepreneurship at UNC.
"We see this gift as commencing a mutually beneficial relationship with one of Americaís most successful entrepreneurial firms."
Market America was founded in 1992 by James H. Ridinger and his wife, Loren, and now boasts net sales exceeding $300 million. "Entrepreneurial spirit is not limited only to those who follow a formal business curriculum," said Ridinger. "That spirit resides in all of us, no matter what our specialty of knowledge might be. By giving students a base of knowledge in business theory, the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative will sow the seeds of entrepreneurialism that is the lifeblood of business worldwide, driving the innovations that shape our lives in years to come."Executives from Market America will join other entrepreneurs as advisers to the CEI.
Market Americaís gift to the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative counts toward the Carolina First campaign goal of $1.8 billion. Carolina First is a comprehensive, multi-year private fund-raising campaign to support Carolinaís vision of becoming the nationís leading public university.
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Note: For more information on the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, visit www.unc.edu/cei .
UNC Development contact: Scott Ragland, (919) 962-0027 or email@example.com
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