The Delta Grassroots Caucus (DGC) is a broad coalition of grassroots leaders in the eight-state Delta region. DGC is also a founding partner of the Economic Equality Caucus,
which advocates for economic equality across the USA.

DRA, Southeast Missouri State U., SBA Join in Effort to Accelerate Entrepreneurship

Posted on July 06, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Symposia to Support Agencies and Individuals Interested in Accelerating Entrepreneurship

(Editor’s note: We would like to send this information out to our network about a series of symposia in all eight states this summer to promote entrepreneurship in the Greater Delta Region. The Delta Regional Authority, Alternate DRA Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall of Sikeston, Missouri, Dr. James Stapleton, Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University, the Small Business Administration and other partners are collaborating in this very constructive effort to start up new businesses and create jobs in our region. Contact information is below. Thanks–Delta Grassroots Caucus board of directors.)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 23, 2011 – The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University is collaborating with several partners to host a series of symposia to build entrepreneurial capacity in the eight-state lower Mississippi Delta region. The CIE is joining with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), the Delta Leadership Network, and the U.S. Small Business Administration to host one symposium in each state this summer.
Cities and dates:

Poplar Bluff, Missouri July 6-7

Grenada, Mississippi July 20-22

Harrisburg, Illinois August 9-11

Jackson, Tennessee August 16-18

Little Rock, Arkansas August 23-25

Gilbertsville, Kentucky August 30-September 1

Eufaula, Alabama September 7-9

Rayville, Louisiana September 14-16

Ideal participants are agencies and individuals who offer or are interested in offering training, technical assistance, and resources to microentrepreneurs that aspire to start new businesses. The symposia will provide the opportunity for individuals to become certified program administrators and trainers in Operation JumpStart, a nationally recognized microenterprise training program that has been developed by the CIE. The symposium will include information on many resources to help communities, especially rural ones, create systems to support entrepreneurs and the start-up of new businesses.

“We are pleased to offer these symposia and provide resources to organizations throughout the Delta that will lead to an increasing number of new businesses and jobs. We will also be announcing additional value-added programs at these symposia that will help provide the resources aspiring entrepreneurs need to be successful,” says Dr. James Stapleton, Executive Director of the CIE and Project Director of the initiative.

Mike Marshall, former Mayor of Sikeston, MO serves as the Alternate Federal Co-Chairman for the Delta Regional Authority. He will speak at each symposium about the resources of the DRA and its vision for how the region can “catch up” to the rest of the nation. Marshall indicated, “Entrepreneurship is a priority of the DRA and we are very excited to partner with the Delta Leadership Network, the SBA and Southeast Missouri State on Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the Delta. I look forward to meeting a lot of new people who will utilize the award-winning Operation JumpStart program to make a very positive impact on the economy in these states.”

A limited number of scholarships are available to provide registration and certification materials at no cost. For more information or to register, call 573-651-5156 or go to Funding for the initiative is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s PRIME program.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerating economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.

For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, call (573) 651-2929 or visit

James L. Stapleton, Ph.D. Executive Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Southeast Missouri State University Tel: 573.651.2010 Mobile: 573.979.2149 Fax: 573.651.2992