OBU's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) recently hosted a series of workshops, "The Women's Business Development Project," to teach women entrepreneurs how to set up a business through a business plan competition funded by a Walmart grant.
Denise Martin, of Shawnee, Okla., was named the winner of the competition during an awards ceremony March 12. Martin received $500 and a plaque. The second-place winner was Rachel Creach of Shawnee, who received $200, and the third-place winner was Keri Yanchick of Edmond, Okla., who received $100.
The project workshops included "Business Plan Development," "Marketing Your Business," "Financing a Small Business" and "Websites for Small Business." During the course of the workshops, attendees developed their business plans and were critiqued by a panel of judges.
"This project has been so important to me over the last semester," said Chelsea Jordan, an OBU sophomore from McLoud, Okla., who serves as SIFE vice-president. "It was geared to empower women, and I believe it did just that. At the end of the last workshop I heard nothing from the women but thanks and appreciation.
"One woman said, 'I'm so glad you did this. Thank you!' Hearing her say that made all the time and labor put in to this project worth it. It was really cool getting to use the things I have learned so far in the business school to educate other people."
Sponsors of The Women's Business Development Project were OBU, SIFE, CPN and the Women's Business Center (WBC) of Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., funded in part by the U. S. Small Business Administration.
Judges for the competition included Carl Packwood of Vision Bank, Paul Bass of First United Bank, Barbara Rackley of Rural Enterprises Incorporated, Sherry Harlin of Rural Enterprises Incorporated, and Dr. Rich Rudebock, Cargill associate professor of business at OBU.