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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 26, 2007

UI offering mini-grants to help teach entrepreneurship

The Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa will select up to 60 educators from around the state to teach an entrepreneurship unit to secondary students in their schools and organizations.

Educators will be selected competitively from school districts around the state and other organizations interested in teaching entrepreneurship education. Selected educators will receive the "Running a Business Plan Competition" curriculum at no cost (a $149 value) and those who implement the curriculum will receive a $250 mini-grant, said Dawn Bowlus, director of the Jacobson Institute.

Selected organizations 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 the Jacobson Institute in celebrating entrepreneurship in Iowa with a one-day conference featuring successful entrepreneurs of all ages. This year's conference will be held in conjunction with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Iowa Conference at the University of Iowa on April 4, 2008.

The funding for the program comes from a grant from the Jacobson Institute and the Ames-based Community Vitality Center.

For more information about this program and to fill out an application to participate, visit the Jacobson Institute website at or contact Dawn Bowlus, Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship director, at 319-335-0985 or

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dawn Bowlus, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, 319-335-0985,; Tom Snee, University News Services, 319-384-0010,