Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at Indiana University East recently received a Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Business grant that will help students work with businesses in the Richmond Depot District and Center City Development Corporation to produce YouTube videos. The team was one of 50 recipients nationwide for the $1,500 Sam’s Club award.
IU East SIFE students and local business leaders kicked off the “Who Are YOUtube” video contest during a breakfast at the Canteberry Salon and Day Spa February 2.
Blake Pieratt, a junior business administration major with minors in entrepreneurship and sports management, said students will work with a variety of small businesses through the project.
“I just really enjoy getting to know the owners. With potentially getting to be a future small business owner, it’s a great opportunity to get to know the ins and outs of a small business and to talk with the owners about how they got started and where they plan to be in the future.”
Megan Winn, a communication major minoring in sports management, said students will have two weeks to produce 30-second to one-minute videos for YouTube. She said she is looking forward to the experience the project will provide as well as getting to learn from entrepreneurs.
As part of the project, SIFE students will divide up to partner with five or more businesses to develop videos to post to YouTube. Students will compete against each other for the most hits on YouTube. The winning team will receive a Sam’s Club membership.
“It is exciting to be able to offer both the students and the business owners an opportunity to interact on such a unique project. The response from the business owners has been tremendous,” said Jason Whitney, co-executive director of Center City Development Corporation. “I am excited to be able to help connect these students with business leaders in our community so that they have better connections for future employment when it comes time to graduate.”
Tim Scales, SIFE advisor and lecturer of business administration, said he was energized by the meeting between the 12 students and more than 30 businesses.
“I’m very happy to have this opportunity to create energy and potential successes for the students and small businesses in our community,” Scales said.
Additionally, the IU East SIFE team was one of 50 teams nationally to receive a 2012 American Free Enterprise Award from the American Chamber of Commerce. The award will provide the SIFE team funding to work with the Winchester Chamber of Commerce in Randolph County as well as the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
SIFE will also use the funding to host guest speaker Rollie Helmling, director of Indiana Motorsports. Helmling will present “Racing into the Future” to motivate growth of small businesses and inspire community members to develop their ideas. The presentation is free to participating businesses and IU East students.
SIFE is a nonprofit organization that gives students the tools to learn the free enterprise system in a real working situation. SIFE challenges students on more than 1,500 college campuses nationwide to take what they’re learning in the classroom and use their knowledge to better their communities.
For more information, contact Tim Scales, SIFE advisor and lecturer of business administration, at (765) 973-8620 or go visit the School of Business and Economics online at iue.edu/business.