Celebrating entrepreneurship, Memphis-style

Due to a programming glitch at today’s Society of Entrepreneurs roundtable discussion forum held at Owen Brennan’s - the keynote presenter was involved in a minor fender bender and couldn’t attend – the organization’s executive director Pearson Crutcher improvised by inviting attendees to enjoy a little networking and information swapping instead.

What followed was one of the best discussions on entrepreneurship that I’ve encountered in some time.

What really got folks talking – and sharing experiences and opinions – was this question from Kevin Boggs, director of the Office of Technology Transfer at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis: “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

If Crutcher had a preference, she didn’t let on. But she did moderate a fascinating half-hour discussion about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Some attendees, like SOE member and noted entrepreneur Winston Wolfe, believe that an entrepreneurial spirit for risk-taking is innate, but can be further developed and perfected through education. Others like LunaWeb founder Dave Barger agreed, but added that recent economic conditions and corporate downsizings have led many people to the conclusion that they’d rather work for themselves than someone else.

A nature-nurture combo of sorts, with most folks agreeing that regardless of whether a person is born with it or develops it, an entrepreneurial spirit always includes plenty of passion seasoned with a significant dose of risk.

Five passionate risk-takers will be celebrated on April 14 during the 20th annual Society of Entrepreneurs new member induction ceremony. This year’s inductees –  Chip Dudley and Susan Stephenson of Independent Bank; Bob McEniry of NexAir; Ronnie Randall of Kele; and Gary Shorb of Methodist LeBonheur HealthCare – will be honored at gala celebration at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis.

These entrepreneurs have spent their careers improving and inspiring our Memphis community and their achievements will be highlighted during what promises to be an unforgettable program.

According to Crutcher, a few tickets still remain to the event, but they’re going fast. To get yours or for more details, visit: http://www.societyofentrepreneurs.com/


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