Those that wish to criticize capitalism or lean socialist as the answer to societal voids should simply be exposed to some of the innovative, hard-working, critical thinkers and aspiring students that compete in the Governor’s Cup annually. History is replete with stories of entrepreneurs that dared to believe, dared to dream of a world that could be, as opposed to the one that was. Our students that compete in this intensely competitive Governor’s Cup each year share some of the identical attributes of entrepreneurs that have changed our world – people named Walton, Jobs, Gates, Edison and many others.
Each team starts with a simple concept, one that will deliver value to the end user, one that enriches lives, and one that will generate positive cash flow over time. With finite detail, each team member works on refining, retesting, and proving their concept is indeed viable to society.
When I look at the students, knowing the countless hours embedded into the concept and business plan, it is not about obtaining a high score in the classroom; it is about seeing the idea become a reality. Boundless Optimism!
Why do students, quit their jobs, move to another state to start a business, and risk their financial well-being to see their dream come true? Just as Steve Jobs did! Just as Sam Walton did! They believe! Yes, I have one student in the health care business for the elderly, raised capital, literally move to Florida due to the demographics to start his enterprise. Ten years later, he is still going strong. There are others, not just from our school but all schools that participate in the Governor’s Cup.
The Governor’s Cup is more than just entrepreneurialism – students with their creative thinking and vision, develop a business plan to attract capital, partners, and stakeholders. As I hear the many voices today berating successful financially sound people that have so enriched our lives, I can only wish they had been able to spend one semester surrounded by the very students that are competing in this competition. Wishfully, I can only hope the critics would realize our standard of living due to the great entrepreneurs is like none others in the annals of history. Students, show us once again why capitalism still works.
God Bless America.
Marvin Jones is an adjunct professor of economics at Arkansas State University-Beebe.