This article originally appeared in issue one of The Collegian. Applications for the grant can be found on the SGA website under the finance tab.
Written by Cameron Pickens
Starting this fall, Bethel College will be offering grants to entrepreneurial members of the Bethel College community who want to make change. The purpose of the Bethel College Entrepreneurial Grants is a broadening of the learning experience of the entire Bethel community, which means that all students, faculty and staff can apply.
“Colleges and universities like Bethel College struggle to remain relevant,” said President Perry White. “Our hope is to build a greater entrepreneurial mindset. As an industry, higher education needs to be more innovative than we [the Bethel community] have been.” Rosa Barrera, assistant to the president, is accepting proposals for these grants now. The deadline for submission is Nov. 1, 2016. Three $3,000 grants will be available to the Bethel community members who apply.
The Proposal Selection Committee will award the grants by voting. Two of the eight members of the committee are students on the Student Government Strategic Planning Committee: JDaijon Sumpter, junior from Bonsall, Calif. and Meredith Stone, junior from Clovis, Calif. The two will have 25% of the voting power in awarding these grants. The proposals, according to the Proposal Selection Committee, will be judged and chosen on three areas: adherence to the objectives outlined on the “Extending our Heritage, Expanding our Impact” Strategic Plan, potential for return on investment for Bethel College, and potential for replication by others on our campus.
Student Body President Jacob Miller, senior from Westmoreland, said, “President White aims to be entrepreneurial motivated and these three grants satisfy that innovation. I hope everyone who has an entrepreneurial idea will attempt the application.” White explained that the committee would determine the appropriate return for each specific investment. The determined return may not always be monetary, but will somehow benefit Bethel College. “I would love to see a new wave of higher education and to see some of the creativity and fun come out,” White said.
Proposal Selection Committee Member and student Meredith Stone said that students, faculty and staff should think out of the box when creating innovative ideas for the proposals. According to Stone, the application and Strategic Plan documents will be posted on the Student Government Association’s website for easy access for students, and on Thresher Connect for faculty and staff. The steps for applying are simple.
First, create an innovative, repeatable self-sustainable proposal. Second, fill out the application. Stone recommends on the application, “Give as much information about your idea as possible, but be direct.” The application has six questions. Each question pertains to aspects of the proposal and requires a maximum word count of 250 words.
Once the application is done, send it to Rosa Barrera, assistant to president. The Proposal Selection Committee plans to have a decision made for each of the three grants as soon as possible, once all of the applications are submitted by Nov. 1, 2016. Stone, White, Miller and members of the Proposal Selection Committee will be available for questions. A list of the committee members can be found on the bottom of the application sheet.