It is impossible to read the business press without recognizing the importance of small business in the United States and world economies. Through creation of jobs, opportunities, new products, and new services, we all rely on small businesses each and every day. Each of these small businesses starts with an owner, an idea, a dream, and a lot of hard work.

This summer, through our Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Mays Business School faculty and students touched the lives of two special groups of entrepreneurs.

For the third year, we were proud to be one of six universities to host the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, bringing to our campus 18 courageous men and women who have served our country so admirably. A unique blend of faculty and entrepreneurs spent the week discussing budgets, market research, organizational design, and other facets of business teaching these veterans to prepare and refine their business plans. While short, the history of this program is proud. Of the first class in 2007, almost 70 percent of the students own their own businesses and four of those businesses generated revenues in excess of $1 million last year. While the 2007 class set a high bar, I believe the 2010 group is up to the challenge!

For the first year, three Mays students (Lauren Dunagan, Paul Morin, and Rishabh Mathur) participated in the Entrepreneurship Empowerment in South Africa program, which provides hands-on lessons as the students worked with small businesses in Cape Town, South Africa. During these six-weeks, our students were able to see a part of the world heretofore unknown to them more than 8,000 miles from our campus and meet and mentor people pursuing their dreams. While the students will pay huge dividends for those small businesses, the experiences and knowledge that Lauren, Paul, and Rishabh gained will surely pay dividends in their careers after college.

As always, I hope this issue of Mays Business Online finds you well. Please call or stop by if your future travels bring you to our campus.