Concord University Launching Entrepreneurship Initiative

For Immediate Release: 
Aug 20 2013

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Office of Advancement Aug. 21, 2013
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,



ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University will officially launch an Entrepreneurship Initiative on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. The program begins at 9 a.m. in Room 304 of the Rahall Technology Center on Concord’s Athens campus.

The initiative, coordinated by Concord’s Division of Business, is made possible through support from the Shott Foundation and other resources.

Along with benefitting Concord’s academic programs through student and faculty engagement, the Entrepreneurship Initiative is anticipated to make a positive impact on the regional economic and business climate and to offer outreach opportunities for regional students.

Dr. Rebecca J. White, James W. Walter Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Tampa, will serve as the keynote speaker for the launch event. White is a 1978 graduate of Concord and the immediate past president of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).

Expected to attend the Sept. 9 launch are federal, state and local government officials; Small Business Development Office representatives; local business owners; representatives of regional chambers of commerce; corporate representatives; and officials from the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at West Virginia University. The public is also invited to attend.

Dr. Mohan P. Pokharel, Shott Chair of Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of management at Concord, is directing the Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Pokharel explains the positive impact Concord students can expect from the Initiative. “The initiative will make space available for students to contemplate business ideas and will propel BIG (Business Idea Generation). It will prepare our students who have business ideas to effectively participate in the State Business Plan Competition and take advantage of WVU-created entrepreneurial infrastructure in the state of West Virginia,” he said.

“The Initiative will complement the current business symposium with ‘Meet the CEO/Entrepreneur’ program. This will be a forum for our students to meet and greet individuals who have successfully started businesses and hear their entrepreneurial experiences. This will strengthen the Business Division’s existing Business Symposiums,” he said.

“Through the ‘Meet the CEO/Entrepreneur’ program, we will gain more knowledge about their lived experiences and also create a forum for sharing business knowledge and pertinent information. This knowledge exchange will create a win-win relationship between the Initiative’s participants and local/regional entrepreneurs.”

Pokharel added that the Entrepreneurship Initiative will also enhance the Concord Business Challenge (CBC). The CBC is a competition for regional high school students sponsored by Concord’s Division of Business each fall.

“In the near future, the Concord Business Challenge will have a component of Entrepreneurship to inspire and entice students of neighboring high schools about the entrepreneurship program at Concord University,” he said. “To make student participation more effective, Concord University has already instituted a rapid Entrepreneurship Course for regional high schools’ business teachers.”

Area entrepreneurs can expect to benefit from the Entrepreneurship Initiative as well.

“The Initiative will serve as an entrepreneurial information hub for local entrepreneurs, as it collaborates with federal and state small business development offices, USASBE, and the other entrepreneurial centers of various universities to gain and disseminate pertinent information,” Pokharel said. “The Initiative will serve as both a pipe (transmitting) and prism (tailoring and amplifying) of entrepreneurial knowledge for local economic development.

“Knowledge tailoring and information amplification will be performed through faculty-guided student research that addresses the questions and issues of local entrepreneurs. This will be a great vehicle for student involvement and faculty engagement in kindling entrepreneurial interest in our students,” he said.

For more information on the Entrepreneurship Initiative and the launch event, contact Dr. Mohan P. Pokharel at or 304-384-5247.


Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086
if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.