Monday, February 25, 2013

University of New Orleans New Urban Entrepreneurship Program Helps Student to Expand and Build His Business

UEPJason Wyman, an undergraduate finance major at UNO, is one of a dozen students selected to participate in The Urban Entrepreneurship Program (UEP) sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.

Having spent five years in the U.S. Navy, Jason Wyman is familiar with military veterans' skills and talents. He aims to capitalize on those strengths as he refines and expands his maintenance, construction and restoration business and a new business accelerator program at the University of New Orleans is helping him.

Wyman, who studies finance, is one of a dozen students selected this spring to participate in The Urban Entrepreneurship Program (UEP) sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, says John Laurie, a UEP senior business consultant. Hosted at UNO by the College of Business Administration, the UEP is one of 23 Kauffman Foundation programs designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.

Laurie meets twice a week and conducts workshops with select UNO student entrepreneurs, preparing them to launch shovel-ready businesses. While many university programs teach students to draft business plans, the UEP helps students get their businesses up and running within six months of completing the program, Laurie says. He helps student entrepreneurs to determine the viability, profitability and scalability of their businesses through market, industry and competitive analyses and helps them to establish core business fundamentals, including marketing, finance and operations.

Capitalizing on the military core values of (HCC) Honor + Courage + Commitment, Wyman aims to recruit and retain former military members to help him grow his business and eventually develop franchises.

"My strategy is to match their training to the environment that they've be trained to excel in," says Wyman, who plans to pursue government contracts in recovery and restoration efforts.