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Panama Set As Destination for Global Enterprise Challenge at McPherson College

Global Enterprise Challenge: Panama | November 13, 2011 | Comments Off

About 35 McPherson College students participating in the Global Enterprise Challenge heard the news they were all waiting to hear this Sunday – where the winners of the challenge would be traveling at the college’s expense.

“The country that we’re going to is Panama,” said Kori Gregg, executive director of entrepreneurship at McPherson College. “This is all about you going out there to figure out how to help them on the ground. I think what you’ll find out when you research Panama is that it’s a country that’s very rich, and also a country that’s very poor.”

This is the second year that McPherson College has held the Global Enterprise Challenge. Last year, students ha d 10 days to come up with a sustainable venture to help in Haiti with one winning team sent to Haiti at the college’s expense to explore putting their ideas into effect and earning a $1,000 scholarship. The challenge is back during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, but with a shorter timeline of just three days.

Following the announcement of the destination, the students broke off into six teams to match their schedules and come up with initial ideas for their ventures. Students were both excited and nervous about the commitment of participating in the challenge.

“We’re basically going to give up our evenings for the next three days,” said Karina Harvey, sophomore, Walton, Kan.

Kent Eaton, provost, gave advice on how to the student team he is mentoring for the challenge.

“I think we’re going to be judged most critically on how doable the venture is,” Eaton said. “The other part that’s going to be
important is partnering.”

Following the announcement of Panama as a destination, student stayed to listen to presenters with Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour – entrepreneurs who made their first $1 million before they turned 30.

Speaking first was EJ Carrion of Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour, who started off talking about his first skydiving experience and how he nearly didn’t jump. He encouraged the students to take the risk and follow their dream. He encouraged the students to give their hopes and dreams life, act on them now and not end up taking their dreams with them when they’re old.

“My goal for you today: whatever you really want to do – when it comes to actually doing it – you jump,” he said. “I want to make sure that you’re not on this side of life where you let fear control what you do.”

Next up was Chris Miller, an entrepreneurial housing manager from Omaha, Neb., who gave students tools to have the courage and persistence to be successful.

The other speaker of the day was Ethan Austin, co-founder of Give Forward, which helps people raise funds online to help pay for uncovered medical expenses.

He encouraged students to be kind, be authentic and to take action on their ideas today. Making Give Forward work was a struggle, he said, but he didn’t want to go through life with regrets.

“Don’t ever be afraid of failing,” Austin said. “Sometimes when you fail it means you were working your butt off.”

Throughout the day, Carrion went through the practical tools and lesson that the students would need to become successful entrepreneurs –
among them, to step outside of the comfort zone.

“Successful people get comfortable being uncomfortable,” he said.

Follow all the events during Global Entrepreneurship Week at McPherson College including thousands of dollars in awards and prizes in multiple entrepreneurial contests at All winners will be announced at a celebration of entrepreneurship the evening of Nov. 18.

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