How to succeed in business
A conversation with Dianne Welsh, the Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Bryan School of Business & Economics
Welcome to UNCG. What new startup projects will you be undertaking in the Bryan School? We have a new minor in Entrepreneurship that is 15 hours. It is for Bryan School majors and non-business majors. The core courses provide a strong foundation. They are From Ideas to Opportunities: Feasibility Analysis and the Opportunities to Action: Business Plan. The non-business students also take Entrepreneurial Finance for Non-Majors while the Bryan students take the finance class required in the Bryan School. It is really important for them to get the finance because cash flow is the No. 1 reason businesses fail. Sixty percent of those who start businesses have never taken a business course. If we can change that percentage, we will improve the success rate of start-ups.
You've been an entrepreneur yourself, so you practice what you preach. What personal experiences have you had that guide your teaching? My first business was picking and selling black raspberries and red raspberries that grew wild to the Fareway Grocery Store in Iowa Falls, Iowa, when I was 10. My two brothers, Holden and Jeff Welsh, were making and selling potholders to the neighbors so we had a contest to see who could make the most money. I won. They soon tired of making them and played hooky fishing instead! Since then, I have started and grown four successful businesses including an ice cream/sandwich shop across from the university when I was working on my master's degree, a hotel on the Oregon coast that I was one of the partners in, and two consulting companies.
I started working for my father early. My uncle Leslie Welsh (winner of the Horatio Alger Award) and my father, Holden Welsh, went into business together when the Boyt Company went bankrupt and the business was available. It was originally just a sporting goods manufacturer. My father took a look at the gear bags for hunting and decided he could make regular square luggage out of the same material. It was then that my father created the first soft-sided luggage, Boyt Luggage, which revolutionized the luggage industry in the early '60s. My mother dyed the first samples in our basement.
What's your personal, working definition of entrepreneurship? Someone who sees an opportunity and does something about it.
What role will entrepreneurship play in helping to resurrect the U.S. economy, which appears to be worsening every month? It truly will be the saving grace to our country. Entrepreneurship creates opportunities, and entrepreneurial businesses are quick to respond and seize opportunities. Ninety-five percent of job growth in the U.S. has been in small, entrepreneurial businesses the last 10 years.
Why are small businesses often referred to as the backbone or the heart of the economy? Because taken together, small businesses employ more people than any other type of business.
Would you advise a friend or family member to start a small business in the current economy? If they have determined it is an opportunity from their research. Businesses fail because the homework doesn't get done the feasibility and business plan is a must. Of the businesses that have completed a business plan, the failure rate drops dramatically. In times like these when the economy is down, opportunities are fruitful.
What personal traits and characteristics must an entrepreneur possess in order to succeed? Fortitude, determination, moderate risk-taking, self-confidence, smarts, creativity, vision, innovation, an eye for opportunity, awareness of new trends, products, etc. By always reading and keeping an open mind, allowing others to question your ideas, excellent listening skills, excellent communication skills. My favorite quote is by Winston Churchill, Never give in never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in. I live by this one.
In the cabinet
Linda Carlisle '72 has always been a busy woman, but she's just gotten busier.
Carlisle is the new Secretary of Cultural Resources for the state. The governor-appointed, cabinet-level position puts Carlisle in charge of cultural outreach and historical preservation programs around the state.
As head of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, she oversees the State Historic Preservation Office, the State Library, state museums of history and art and the State Archives.
Those who have been around UNCG for a while might recognize her name from other activities. In addition to her years as a student and her work as the co-chair of the Students First Campaign, Carlisle has been a member and vice-chair of the UNCG Board of Trustees, and served as vice-chair of the chancellor search committee.
This is not her first time working on the state level. She was named one of the state's first lottery commissioners by Gov. Mike Easley and served a two-year term.
A meeting of the minds
This spring, Chancellor Linda P. Brady went back to high school at least for a day. She spent her time shadowing Page High School principal Marilyn Foley, right, as part of the Guilford Education Alliance's Principal for a Day initiative. Following Foley through the routine of her morning allowed Brady to talk with students and UNCG alumni who are teachers in the school. It's amazing how common the problems and challenges are, Brady said in an interview with the News & Record.
Where loved ones lie
Professor looks at DNA analysis in Bosnia
Dr. Sarah Wagner is quick to let you know she's not a real-life Bones. Yes, she studies DNA, but she's a cultural anthropologist, not a forensics expert.
I'm more interested in the socio-political ramifications of identifying bodies through DNA, said Wagner, a new addition to the anthropology faculty at UNCG. Genetic technology, science, is being brought into the international repertoire for post-conflict and post-disaster response. I'm intrigued by what it means to have a scientific response to chaos.
Wagner has researched innovative DNA analysis methods developed to identify remains of more than 8,000 Muslim males killed by Bosnian Serbs and Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina, probing the impact on families, ethno-political relations within Bosnia and the international community. She has written a book on the subject, To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica's Missing.
Without the innovative application of DNA technology, she said, Bosnian Serbs could have covered up the war crimes committed at Srebrenica. Bosnian Serbs buried the dead in mass graves, removing identification cards and even clothing. They later dug up the bodies and moved them to cover up the crimes; in the process, the bodies sometimes came apart, leading to an identification nightmare.
DNA became the driving force behind the Bosnian identification efforts, necessitating a huge database to match samples extracted from bones with blood samples from family members.
Identifying people on the familial level is incredibly important, she said. For the surviving families of the Srebrenica missing, it's essential that they know where their loved ones' bodies are, and that they can care for the remains through sanctified, witnessed burial.
On the same page
A response to the UNC system's UNC Tomorrow initiative. Check. A new mission statement and vision statement submitted to General Administration and UNC Board of Governors for review. Check. A new five year plan. It's on track and will be unveiled this spring.
Fall 2008 was a busy semester for the 70 faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members creating these essential documents.
Some were asked to serve on more than one committee, to ensure an integrated, focused effort. The cross-fertilization ensured everyone knew what the others were doing, Provost David H. Perrin said.
Our society is changing. Our university will too. Who are we? How should we serve? What does the future hold? And how will we get there while measuring that progress? These are some of the big questions committee members faced.
Instead of tweaking the current vision statement and mission statement, the volunteers created new ones, noted Dr. Rebecca G. Adams, Strategic Planning Committee chair. Dr. Sue Stinson led the subcommittee working on these statements. Every word came under scrutiny as faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members were asked to comment on drafts as they were developed.
The proposed statements as well as other information can be viewed at uncgtomorrow.uncg.edu.
Although Dr. Patricia A. Sullivan retired as chancellor last summer, her name lives on at UNCG.
Last year she witnessed the Sullivan Science Building named in her honor, as well as the funding of the Dr. Patricia A. Sullivan and Dr. Charles W. Sullivan Scholarship. As of February, gifts and pledges totaled $206,688, which allowed a student to receive a much-needed scholarship this year.
In addition to these things, an endowment is being created in Sullivan's name to establish a professorship that will bring a nationally known scholar to UNCG.
The Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professorship in the Sciences is being created through a $26 million matching fund initiative by the C.D. Spangler Foundation. The program allows UNC campuses to create distinguished professorships.
Sixty-one donors have pledged the necessary match of $417,000 for the Sullivan endowment. Along with $250,000 from the Spangler Foundation, UNCG will apply for $333,000 in matching funds from the N.C. Distinguished Professorship Endowment Trust Fund. The total endowment will be $1 million.
All of these efforts have contributed to the Students First Campaign. Visit donate.uncg.edu to learn more.
Check our progress report
The Students First Campaign will come to a close at the end of June. As of February, more than $104 million has been raised for scholarships and faculty support, as well as other university priorities. Now you can read the latest news and donor stories at CampaignNews.uncg.edu.
Creating an online newsletter reflects the university's desire to be conscientious of the environment as well as our budget.
So visit the site and learn about unique alumni who are giving back, as well as how campaign dollars are being used.
Want to contribute? Click on the give now button.
You know UNCG is an inspiring place to be. Now you have proof.
A new university web site showcases UNCG in a new light, addressing some ways in which UNCG serves our state and nation.
This site, inspirechange.uncg.edu, tells the stories of faculty, staff, students and alumni who are doing great things, whether it's ground-breaking research or can't-miss productions.
And not only can you read about what others are doing, you can tell your story too. Just visit inspirechange.uncg.edu, scroll down to the middle of the page and click the Share Your Story link. While you’re on the main page, don't miss the photography featured in Through the Lens. Want to keep up with new stories as they're posted? Click the subscribe button to receive an RSS feed.
Take a few moments to browse the site and bookmark it. Then come back again and again to see how UNCG is making a difference.
A blueprint for drug abuse prevention
An online program created by a UNCG spinoff company is helping thousands of college athletes avoid the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol.
The interactive program myPlaybook is being used by roughly 7,000 freshman athletes at NCAA Division II institutions. Developed by Prevention Strategies with $186,000 from the National Institutes of Health, myPlaybook is a prototype for what could soon become a much larger and more widely used system of drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
Dr. David Wyrick, an associate professor of public health and the president of Prevention Strategies, developed myPlaybook with Dr. Melodie Fearnow-Kenney, the company's vice president of research and development. The program takes 45-60 minutes to complete and increases awareness about the dangers of drug use, with an emphasis on alcohol and marijuana.
We try to show how alcohol, marijuana and other banned substances affect your performance, your training, your recovery from injury and your eligibility, so the program is very specific to student-athletes, Wyrick says.
The NCAA is paying Prevention Strategies $50,000 for the use of myPlaybook this year, roughly the cost to the company of administering the program to such a large number of student-athletes. Wyrick plans to use the data collected this year to apply for a $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
That grant would allow Prevention Strategies to expand myPlaybook from one course to eight. Eight courses would help colleges and universities meet the NCAA 's goal of providing drug and alcohol education for student-athletes every semester. In 2006, only 46 percent of institutions reported meeting that goal.
Donors who have given faithfully to the university for 25 years or more are always honored with a special luncheon.
This year the Harriet Elliott Society luncheon will come at a different time of the year. Instead of the usual early summer event, donors will be invited to a meal on Founders Day, Monday, Oct. 5.
Watch your mail for invitations to this special event.
What is Neo-Black Society?
This year the Neo-Black Society celebrates its 40th anniversary. While it’s been a strong part of campus life for years, it wasn’t always a known entity. This 1968 article by Ada Fisher ’70 introduced the Neo-Black Society to students.
What is Neo-Black Society?
Now you’ve seen them; the word’s out and the posters are up. There is a Neo-Black Society on our campus and to the disappointment of many people it is not a racist, separatist or communist-inspired organization. Well, if it is not any of these things, what is the Neo-Black Society?
The students who are associated with this organization consider it to be a society of service to its members, the campus and the community. For too long the complaint of our society about the Negro is that he does not help himself. Anyone with a grain of sense and learned in Afro-American history knows damn well that this is not true. But regardless there are many on this campus who hold the notion that the Negro does nothing for himself. And so enters the Neo-Black Society.
The Neo-Black Society means “New Black” Society when translated, and it refers to a group of students who are willing to work within the framework of our society to bring about constructive and much-needed change. The purposes as defined are to provide services for the campus and the community which will help in improving both of them. The three major goals for the 1968-69 school year are: 1) to help in voter registration drives, 2) to work with GUTS, and 3) to try to help establish an Afro-American history course on this campus.
Accomplishing these goals and getting involved in campus activities is a major project, but the whole program revolves around giving a damn.