Students in Free Enterprise wins top honors, including regional champion, at the SIFE USA Regional Competition

April 30, 2010

DEARBORN / April 30, 2010---The University of Michigan-Dearbornís Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter won four awards at the SIFE USA Regional Competition held April 8 in Chicago, Ill.

Among the 58 participating teams, UM-Dearborn received the Regional Champion award, which means the team will head to Minneapolis on May 11 for the SIFE national competition.  UM-Dearbornís team beat out notable contenders such as Purdue University, Central Michigan University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

The UM-Dearborn team also received:

For a SIFE team in its second year of competing, the awards represent the effort and dedication of more than 70 students.  This year, the team organized 25 projects and impacted more than 5,500 people in Metro Detroit.  

One of those projects was the second annual Entrepreneurship Academy.  E-Academy is an intense two-week summer day camp offered to high school students that provides hands-on experience for future business leaders ending with a business plan competition where students compete for college scholarships.  In 2009, SIFE awarded almost $10,000 to participants in the form of Blue Oval Scholarships sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund.

ďStudents also love our Prof-to-Profit Program.  Itís a triple-win opportunity,Ē says Kerry Thompson, CEO/president of UM-Dearbornís SIFE chapter.  Integrated into the marketing curriculum, students get real-world experience in new product development through conducting research and negotiating with vendors.  A final report is presented to SIFE partner Walgreens who selects products to place in 20 local stores; this valuable test market data can potentially lead to national distribution in over 7,000 stores.  Plus all proceeds are donated back to the team to fund scholarships and new projects.

The SIFE UM-Dearborn chapter is one of more than 500 programs in the United States.  Participating students use business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.  The culmination of the SIFE program is an annual series of competitions that provide a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges.  Teams compete first at the regional and national levels, then at the international level when the national champion teams from each country meet at the SIFE World Cup.

For more information, visit sife.umd.umich.edu or www.sife.org.

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About University of Michigan-Dearborn
Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, masterís, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future. 

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