ELSEWorks provides students unparalleled opportunities working with faculty, alumni, and industry experts to gain high-level entrepreneurial business experience in a number of settings and to engage the community.
ELSEWorks and the Undergraduate Student
"My ELSEWorks internship challenged me in ways I could not have imagined. I served as a consultant to a small business in Jackson - something unheard of for undergraduate students at many colleges and universities."
ELSEWorks and the Graduate Student
"As an ELSEWorks Business Analyst I have had many opportunities to go beyond the theory of the classroom to experience real world business situations and be involved in high-level decision making."
ELSEWorks Entrepreneurial Investment Fund
The Fund invests in a variety of entrepreneurial private equity ventures by canvassing and screening a large array of investment opportunities across multiple industries and selecting those that maximize tradeoffs between perceived risk and return. It is unusual for students to have an opportunity to work with a fund which focuses on non-public companies at any university, much less at a small liberal arts college
One primary goal of the Fund is to involve students in the Fund's activities, providing them with a rich, hands-on learning experience that exposes them to the world of private equity and the critical role it plays in capital, wealth, and job creation. Students apply what they have learned in their entrepreneurial and other coursework by researching, evaluating, forecasting, and performing due diligence on various investment opportunities, as well as monitoring the progression of companies through the various stages of growth and maturity, including liquidity. Students participate in the legal, tax, valuation, and regulatory challenges faced by these companies as well as the evaluation of the entrepreneurial/management team, marketing plan/market potential, intellectual property/competition, and the business plan. Our students have participated in the hosting of various companies' management teams and Angel Investors on campus to observe and participate in the capital raising process.
The Fund is primarily focused on, but not limited to, entrepreneurial start-up firms, including seed stage, early stage, and expansion/mezzanine stage investments. While not limited geographically, the Fund primarily considers and evaluates Mississippi-based opportunities. The Fund currently holds investments in various sectors, including computer networking technology, medical devices/pharma, renewable energy technology, hospitality services, and craft beer. Two companies are headquartered in Mississippi and some others have significant connections to Mississippi.
"We believe by placing our students in a position to have meaningful input into high level decisions that have very real and potentially transformative consequences, they learn to embrace diversity, risk, and important challenges - thus, how to be a leader."
Business Advantage Program
The Business Advantage Program is a 15-week certificate program which teaches the essentials of business to successful professionals who have no prior education in business. Graduates include architects, artists, engineers, high school teachers, public officials, members of the medical community, and leaders of non-profits. The website includes video testimonials describing how the Business Advantage Program has benefitted the professional and personal lives of previous participants.