Contact person: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Mississippi—Continuing its history of supporting Mississippi commerce, the Mississippi State University College of Business is participating in a new initiative to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, housed in the college of commerce, is helping the newly created Mississippi 30 Day Fund review initial applications to speed up the time it takes to get money for homeowners small businesses. The nonprofit fund, started by MSU alumnus Marie Sanderson and her husband Brian of Ocean Springs, offers fast, repayable loans of up to $3,000 to these Mississippi-based businesses.
“We are very proud to be doing our part for the state to help the many small businesses that are struggling during these difficult times,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of the College of Business. “It is inspiring to see one of our alumni leading this effort and to see the entrepreneurial expertise developed here at MSU continue to benefit the state.”
The Mississippi 30 Day Fund is based on similar programs that have been successful in other states and complements state and federal COVID-19 relief programs. Businesses eligible for assistance must be owned and operated by a Mississippi resident, have been in business in the state for at least one year, and employ between three and 30 people. Funds paid under the program do not have to be repaid. However, if recipients wish to “pay it forward,” they can redirect the money to the fund, where it will help other businesses in need. The program is funded by donations and private support.
“Brian and I met during Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts and witnessed the importance of small businesses to the economy and character of Mississippi. The response and leadership of the private sector was important then, and we believe they are essential now. The Mississippi 30 Day Fund will tap into the generosity of Mississippians,” said Marie Sanderson, a 2001 MSU College of Business graduate, in a statement announcing the effort.
The MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach peer review committee, along with graduate students from business colleges, will help select applicants. The panel is made up of successful entrepreneurs who have worked with the E-Center to start businesses. The group regularly reviews submissions from current students seeking their first funding from the E-Center. Jeffrey Rupp, director of outreach for the College of Business, coordinates MSU’s involvement.
“The number of apps is expected to grow exponentially,” Rupp said. “The E-Center supports over 100 start-ups every year, and they have to go through a similar process to get funding, so we have a system in place to do that. Everyone was immediately ready to help with that. This is a great way for us as a university to give back and it fits well with the land grant mission and the mission of the College of Business.
To learn more about the Mississippi 30 Day Fund, visit www.ms30dayfund.com.
To learn more about the College of Business, visit www.business.msstate.edu.
MSU is the main university in Mississippi, available online at www.msstate.edu.