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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 5, 2006

JPEC Offering Mini-Grants To Help Teach Entrepreneurship

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa will select 20 educators from around the state to teach an entrepreneurship unit to secondary students.

Educators will be selected competitively from non-metro school districts and other organizations interested in teaching entrepreneurship education.  Chosen educators will receive the "Running a Business Plan" curriculum at no cost (a $149 value) and those who implement the curriculum will receive a $250 mini-grant, said Dawn Bowlus, coordinator of youth programs for JPEC.

JPEC is offering the curriculum through a $10,000 grant from the Ames-based Community Vitality Center (CVC). This is the second year the CVC has provided the entrepreneurship education grant to JPEC.

The organizations who are selected will receive a step-by-step curriculum to teach students how to develop a plan for starting their own businesses. Students participating in the local-level competition are led by entrepreneurship educators through a series of activities aimed at helping them brainstorm ideas, identify and evaluate opportunities, develop a marketing plan and materials, estimate start-up costs, and project revenue. As students work through these activities, they apply the concepts directly to their business opportunity and write a formal business plan. 

As a culminating event, students compete by making business plan presentations to a panel of judges from their community. This spring, the top competitors from each participating school or organization, along with their educator, will join JPEC in celebrating entrepreneurship in Iowa with a one-day conference featuring successful entrepreneurs of all ages. Last year, more than 90 students attended the conference at UI's Iowa Memorial Union.  This year's conference will be held in conjunction with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Iowa Conference at Drake University on Friday, March 2, 2007.

For more information about this program and to fill out an application to participate, please visit JPEC's website at or contact Dawn Bowlus, JPEC youth entrepreneurship coordinator, at 319-335-0985 or email

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,