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Coastal Carolina launches entrepreneurship institute

April 24, 2008

To encourage students interested in pursuing entrepreneurial careers, Coastal Carolina University has established the Each One Teach One Entrepreneurship Institute. The program got under way April 24 with an introductory seminar for all Coastal students led by three area entrepreneurs: Paige Bird of RE/MAX Ocean Forest, Chuck Parisher of Beverage Consulting Associates and Elizabeth Killen of Miss Lizzie's.

The Each One Teach One Entrepreneurship Institute serves both Coastal students and area middle and high school students. Coastal students who are selected as TPJ Brown Entrepreneurship Scholars will take specialized training classes in the skills and techniques necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. The classes will be taught, beginning this fall, by members of the Wall College of Business Retired Executives Board, advisers to the program. In turn, Coastal students who are Brown Scholars will share the knowledge and experience they gain from the program with selected area middle and high school at-risk students, who will be known as TPJ Brown Entrepreneurship Interns.

The institute will be administered by a collaborative of three Coastal centers: the Center for Education and Community, the Wall Center for Excellence and the BB&T Center for Economic and Community Development. Activities will include a summer program on campus in 2009 that will focus on idea generation, development and marketing. Organizers of the program anticipate eventually expanding the program across the five-county area that Coastal serves.

The idea and the initial funding for the institute originated with the Thomas P. Brown Jr. family of Conway. Brown, a retired businessman and entrepreneur, believes that many young people with the ideas and the drive to start their own businesses often lack opportunity, experience and guidance.

"We believe that through their early exposure to business, young people can be successfully motivated, nurtured and given the education and real life experiences that are pivotal to the accomplishment of their dreams and that will enable them to thrive as adults in the American way," said Brown.

Brown and his wife Jessie, a professor of early childhood education at Coastal who will retire in May, with their son Thomas P. Brown III, a Coastal alumnus and businessman of Richmond, Va., made a $100,000 gift to Coastal in 2007 to establish the institute.