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Southeast’s Entrepreneurship Center To Begin Distance Programs

Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is developing a new mobile platform for its Operation Jumpstart program to bring entrepreneurial training to more communities.

Operation Jumpstart has trained over 1,000 entrepreneurs who have started 350 businesses. With the web-based platform, Operation Jumpstart will reach individuals and communities that cannot attend face-to-face classes, and take advantage of digital technology to link budding business owners with mentors and coaches throughout the region.

Center director Dr. James Stapleton said it can be used for distance learning or to augment traditional training.

“The nice thing about the obviously mobile components of the new platform is the way that people can stay connected throughout the training program,” Stapleton said. “Even if you’re in a face-to-face environment, you’re not disconnected when you’re out of the training classroom. ”

Stapleton said one of the challenges of working in the rural delta region is providing services to people in their own space.

“In some rural regions, folks would have to drive a hundred drive miles to get to a program like this. With the technology that we’re putting in place, they can stay in their own living room if they have internet access,” Stapleton said.

The project is funded by a $250,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority. 

Stapleton expects to roll out the new program in the fall.