Local Entrepreneurship Week USA Events Scheduled February 24 through March 3

Communityan leaders from across northeast Oklahoma have scheduled several local events aimed at promoting economic and community development which will take place during the nationwide EntrepreneurshipWeek USA — February 24 through March 3.The events are organized to help people explore their entrepreneurial potential.

“This is not one event happening at one location,” said Dr. Ray Brown, Rogers State University vice president for economic and community development. “The Claremore Industrial Economic Development Authority in conjunction with Rogers State University, as well as the OSU Okmulgee Innovation Center, will be holding events to promote entrepreneurship in our community.”

Jason Wolfe, founder of Direct Response Technologies Inc., will speak from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at RSU in Herrington Hall, room 146. His talk is titled “The Sky is the Limit: One Entrepreneur’s Journey to the Top.”

Wolfe has launched several successful businesses including MyCoupons in 1995, the first online coupon site, and DirectCertificates (which is now called GiftCards.com) in 1999 as a leading online gift card service.

In 2002, Jason launched DirectTrack which eventually became the world’s top affiliate tracking and ad serving system. In 2003, he launched KeywordMax, which eventually became a world leader in keyword bid management.

 Direct Response Technologies, Inc., was founded in 1994 and has grown into one of the country’s premiere full service media and technology firms. From one employee and an initial investment of $100, the company has developed into a global industry leader.

Wolfe’s presentation is sponsored by the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority and  RSU and is free and open to the public.

Another local event, Entrepreneurship Day, will be held at noon on Friday, March 2, during the Pryor Rotary Club Meeting at the First Methodist Church in Pryor. The event, sponsored by OSU-Okmulgee Innovation Center, will include a panel of local entrepreneurs describing the “ins” and “outs” of running your own business. The cost to attend this event is $6.50 and reservations are required 48 hours in advance.

The goal of EntrepreneurshipWeek USA nationwide is to increase public awareness of entrepreneurship. On a national basis, the week is sponsored by The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Inc. magazine and The New York Times.

One of his goals, RSU’s Brown said, is opening the eyes of young adults to the unlimited possibilities of ways to create value for society through entrepreneurship, including creating their own business, developing a new product, or implementing a creative solution to a local problem.

“Development of entrepreneurship in northeastern Oklahoma, particularly in the younger generations that identify with the desire to make a positive impact on the world, is a key piece of the state’s economic future,” Brown said.

With the theme,”What’s Your Big Idea? Take it On!,” the EntrepreneurshipWeek USA 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.

“We are delighted with the leadership and expertise that these regional and local organizations bring to EntrepreneurshipWeek USA as program partners,” said Carl Schramm, president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Foundation.

According to Kauffman Foundation research, 41 percent of children ages nine to 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. p>

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, according to the Kauffman Foundation.

More information about the Wolfe event is available by calling Lynn Wilson at (918) 343-7622. More information about Entrepreneurship Day is available by calling Leann Burger at (918) 825-8921. Information on events across the nation is available by visiting  www.EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.com.