BCIC Partners with Southern Vermont College to Reward Student Entrepreneurs

January 18, 2008

(BENNINGTON, Vt.) -- The Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) will present an award of $1,500 to the best student-developed business plan under a new partnership forged with Southern Vermont College’s “Build the Enterprise” program, BCIC executive director Peter Odierna announced.

“The BCIC mission is to foster high-quality job creation, and we want to encourage young entrepreneurs, like the SVC students, to stay in the Bennington area,” Odierna stated. “This is an important step in growing a vibrant, well-trained and motivated workforce. This partnership will encourage entrepreneurship, business creation, and support student and College participation in the well-being of Bennington County.”

Under the “Build the Enterprise” program that kicks off this fall, teams of SVC students will design, implement and manage businesses, putting into practice the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom. For capitalization, successful business plans will be able to draw upon a $100,000 Venture Fund created by the College.

A panel of BCIC members will assess the “Build the Enterprise” ventures and select one as the most promising. The award received by the winning team will add to the initial capitalization of its business.

SVC President Karen Gross, who serves on the BCIC Board, also noted that BCIC members will serve as mentors to “Build the Enterprise” student teams and assist the students in designing their business plans and carrying out their business ventures.

“Partnerships like this with the local Bennington community and its business leadership are vital to the College,” she said. “This collaboration is an important opportunity not only for students, but for the future development of the region. It is also evidence of the remarkable business support for the “Build the Enterprise” program itself.”

President Gross also observed that as students work within the community to plan and operate their businesses, they will inevitably establish networks of relationships within Bennington County.

“Hopefully, for these students,” she added, “Bennington County will begin to feel like home and then will become their home – not only a place where they went to college. Our students will want to stay in the place where they’ve discovered they can achieve success.”

Founded in 1926, Southern Vermont College offers a career-enhancing liberal arts education with 19 academic degree programs for approximately 450 students. Southern Vermont College recognizes the importance of educating students for the workplace of the twenty-first century and for lives as successful leaders in their communities. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.