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Barney Students Win Entrepreneurship Competition
In Thursday's competition, seven members of the university’s SIFE team gave a multimedia presentation of their work with small business owners in Hartford’s Upper Albany neighborhood, Vernon’s Rockville business district, and Simsbury’s downtown business district. The students talked about how they worked directly with businesses to help assess their needs, develop solutions and implement them. The students also talked about the experience they gained by taking what they learned in the classroom and applying it to real-world situations.
SIFE is a global nonprofit organization that offers students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise. SIFE teaches important concepts through educational outreach projects, including market economics, entrepreneurship, personal and financial success, and business ethics. Each year, SIFE competitions are held worldwide, drawing together thousands of students and business leaders.
The University of Hartford students offered statistics on the success of the businesses they worked with, including the number of training hours, value of the business loans closed and the increased investments in the participating neighborhoods. They also gave personal anecdotes about the relationships they established with business owners whose cultures are very different from their own.
The SIFE team members also said that they are looking forward to taking this “geographical incubator” model that they have developed and using it to help other entrepreneurs in communities across Connecticut.
The Barney School’s SIFE team also won three awards — National Personal Financial Success Skills, National Entrepreneurship Competition, and National Business Ethics Competition — presented by the judges at the regional competition.
The team members are Maureen Fulton of Milford, Conn., a senior marketing major; John Lindquist of South Windsor, Conn., a senior entrepreneurial studies major; Pipat Pinyawat of Bangkok, Thailand, a senior entrepreneurial studies major; Jessica Pirolo of Commack, N.Y., a senior marketing major; Kelly Walsh of Westerly, R.I., a senior entrepreneurial studies major; Kathleen Yantosca of North Haven, Conn., a junior entrepreneurial studies major; and Robert Golden of Avon, Conn., a master’s in business administration degree candidate.
The regional competition included teams from Central Connecticut State University, Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I., Manhattan College, and Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Assisting the SIFE team members were David Desplaces, assistant professor of entrepreneurial studies and management at the Barney School of Business, and Margery Steinberg, associate professor of marketing and management at the Barney School.