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Date: February 23, 2000

Second Major Award for UVic Entrepreneurship

For the second time in six months, the entrepreneurship program offered by the UVic faculty of business has prevailed in an award competition pitting it against some of the largest and richest American universities.

The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, has chosen UVic as this year's winner of its award for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs. UVic's program becomes the first from outside the U.S. to be recognized by the USASBE, whose membership includes entrepreneurship educators from around the world. The runner-up was George Washington University.

Last year, the UVic entrepreneurship teaching team--Drs. Ron Mitchell, Eric Morse, Brock Smith and Mr. Brian McKenzie--were awarded the Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award by the Academy of Management, topping Harvard University. UVic is the first university to win both the USASBE and the Academy of Management awards.

"We've managed to create a real jewel here and we can't let it move south of the border like so many successful high tech ventures," says Dr. Roger Wolff, dean of the UVic faculty of business. "Our real challenge now is to secure financial support from the Canadian entrepreneurial community to keep this program where it belongs, developing the next generation of leaders in new business development."

UVic entrepreneurship offers students a unique, team-taught structure that combines theory with practical experience. It includes an integrated full-immersion structure; venture/venturer assessment software developed by UVic faculty members; and a curriculum that introduces concepts in the order that students would encounter them in planning and starting a new business.

Students also participate in "innovation week"--a concept pioneered at UVic and adopted by other institutions--in which groups are given 10 days to develop and market a product with just $5 of capital.

Dr. Charles Hofer of the University of Georgia, chair of the awards committee and a leading entrepreneurship scholar and educator said the competition was very close. "The George Washington program has a longer track record of success and is much better funded. But the UVic program is innovative and well thought out."

"This is tremendous for a school of our size and young history," says Wolff. "Other institutions have the distinct advantage of greater financial resources and depth of history, which is why this second win is so exciting. But sustained success will depend on our ability to compete financially, as well as academically."

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Media contacts:
Dr. Eric Morse UVic Entrepreneurship Program, (250) 472-4140

Dr. Roger Wolff, Dean, UVic Faculty of Business, (250) 472-4139.


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