UMKC and Blue Springs School District create pilot Entrepreneurship course

Lead Bank provides three scholarships to select companies

 The University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Blue Springs School District have created a pilot course to introduce students and community members to the opportunities available in entrepreneurship.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship offers three credit hours, or can be taken as a non-credit class to better inform those already involved in or interested in learning more about this topic. Nineteen high school students and community members are enrolled in the pilot program, taught by Philip Gonsher, assistant teaching professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

“Many people were determined to see this course offered in Blue Springs, and Annette Sego, the assistant superintendent of the Blue Springs School District, worked hard to bring it to fruition,” said Jeff Hornsby, Ph.D., Henry W. Bloch/Missouri Endowed Chair and Director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “The ultimate goal is to provide scholarships for all those interested in learning more about this subject.”

In order to encourage enrollment, Sego worked with Lead Bank, other Blue Springs corporations and individuals to financially support participation.

Lead Bank, a locally owned financial institution dedicated to the needs of small businesses, provided three $500 scholarships to select local companies that attend the class. Barry Whiting, a Lead Bank loan officer, will attend the class to gain a better understanding of what is offered, both personally and professionally.

“More and more people every day are interested in owning their own business, and Lead Bank is excited to support academia and entrepreneurship in Jackson County. By partnering with these entities, we’re able to play a bigger role in our community,” says Josh Rowland, vice chair of Lead Bank.

According to Hornsby, a high school dual-credit opportunity will be offered in the fall, which allows students to earn college credits while still in high school. Two Blue Springs teachers have been approved by UMKC to teach in the program. Blue Springs is a growing community, and the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation believes a partnership in education is important to help develop and sustain a well-trained and prepared workforce.

“Blue Springs has high school students who are potentially interested in the Bloch School entrepreneurship program, and they can begin the education process through course offerings such as this,” said Hornsby. “Students will be able to gain a better understanding of Bloch and earn college credits.”

The Introduction to Entrepreneurship course is offered through a partnership among the Blue Springs School District, the City of Blue Springs and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Lead Bank is a strategic partner.




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