Center for the Study of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
By establishing this Center, Graceland University seeks to perpetuate the spirit of free enterprise in students, faculty, and the community. The study of America’s entrepreneurial tradition enhances and strengthens our economy by encouraging innovation and by familiarizing young people with a knowledge of the principles and history of free enterprise. That body of economic values, purposes, concepts, processes and structures which constitutes the American system has allowed our society to deploy its resources, both physical and human, to achieve an outstanding quality of life for most Americans. Although it is not perfect, our economic system is inextricably interwoven with the individual freedoms that Americans cherish. Of primary importance is the belief that enduring political and economic freedom rests on the expectation of society for ethical and compassionate behavior. The successful entrepreneur should understand the importance of behavior, and return value to the system that has provided for his/her success.
The Center is pursuing several major goals:
One—Administer the annual Entrepreneurial Roundtable. This spring event gathers business practitioners, faculty, and students to the Lamoni campus to learn, question, network, and be inspired by each other. Through a combination of active participation and exposure to nationally-recognized entrepreneurs, participants will eliminate some of their self-imposed limitations.
Two—Support and encourage Graceland Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE). This is a worldwide organization with chapters in over 500 U.S. colleges and universities. Its mission is to provide college students the best opportunity to make a difference and to develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise. In 2006 the Graceland SIFE team was named National Champion, and went on to place second at the World Expo in Paris, France. The 2014 Team placed among the top twelve US teams at the Enactus National Exposition.
Three—Sponsor courses in the area of entrepreneurship and free enterprise. When possible, successful entrepreneurs are designated as adjunct faculty and employed to bring another perspective to the classroom. Graceland Enactus is not only a student organization, but is also offered as the C.H. Sandage School of Business course entitled Free Market Practicum, which can be taken for upper division academic credit.
Four—Serve as member of the Lamoni Development Corporation as well as help administer and market the USDA Rural Development Revolving Loan Fund. The Lamoni Development Corporation is dedicated to strengthening the economic development of southern Iowa through the growth of our business and industry, the addition of new innovative industries to our communities and the improvement of the quality of life enjoyed by our residents.