B&E, athletics receive $3 mil gift
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Jose Sartarelli, the dean of College of Business & Economics, wants West Virginia University students to "catch the entrepreneurship bug."
Now, thanks to a recent $3 million donation from the BrickStreet Foundation, the dean’s wish can become a reality.
Sartarelli said last week’s gift will be able to help the College expand upon its entrepreneurship efforts – something he said is vital to the state of West Virginia.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship," he said. "The naming of this center will take our efforts to a different level, because we’ll be able to do more and new things."
Sartarelli said the gift will help create new areas of focus within the entrepreneurship program – including energy and health care.
The gift will also benefit the College’s statewide business plan competition.
The competition enables students from across the state to develop business plans in the areas of lifestyle, hospitality and tourism. Selected winners are then given $10,000 to put their plans into action and establish their business.
"I think the thing that makes this very special is the fact that entrepreneurship has become such an important area of scholarship in the University," he said. "For the state of West Virginia, I think it is very important to know we are in need of a gigantic creation of jobs in the state. To be able to take the center of
entrepreneurship is very important to us."
The gift also allowed the College to implement a new program – a statewide high school business plan competition.
The College entered a five-year agreement with the West Virginia Department of Education for the competition.
"The competition will be open to 157 West Virginia high schools and 37,000 high school juniors and seniors. It will provide increased opportunities to encourage and bolster the entrepreneurial spirit, as well as access for younger audiences to entrepreneurial thought and education," Sartarelli said.
The WVU College of Business & Economics has committed a $10,000 scholarship to the winning team of up to four students if they choose to attend B&E.
Kathy D’Antoni, West Virginia Assistant State Superintendent of Schools, said the state is excited and thankful for the new opportunities the grant
"West Virginia is an entrepreneurial state, and we in education need to create more opportunities for students to acquire the skill sets needed to be an entrepreneur," she said. "This partnership with the WVU College of Business & Economics through the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will give students across West Virginia a chance to dream and an opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skill sets."
Sartarelli said he is grateful for the outpouring of support the College has received from various entities for its entrepreneurship program.
"In addition to this gift, since June, we have received a couple of other contributions to the same area of entrepreneurship," he said. "It has attracted the attention of donors wide and broad. The two others that have contributed – one is from Tennessee one is from South Carolina.
It so happens that the most recent one, of $3 million, is from BrickStreet, which is a born and raised company of the state. Entrepreneurship, for us, is important.
"I think it’s important that we educate the sons and daughters of West Virginia to set up their own businesses and have them be successful, employ lots of people and pay lots of salaries."
For more information on the College of Business & Economics, visit www.be.wvu.edu.