Students in Free Enterprise
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international student organization in which college and university students develop and deliver programs that teach about market economics, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, life success skills, ethics and integrity, and environmental sustainability. The Wilkes University SIFE Team has been named regional champion and regularly competes at the SIFE USA National Exposition.
There’s no teacher like experience. Hands-on learning is integral to cultivating the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive world. The Allan P. Kirby Center, in conjunction with the Wilkes University Office of Cooperative Education and Internships, seeks appropriate learning opportunities and environments for students considering entrepreneurial careers and places them regionally and nationally. Jeremy Siniawa learned the ropes of researching, preparing, and presenting large scale real estate development proposals for investors. Matthew Wilkie assisted the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center with clients set on launching their own businesses. Rich Billings assisted the Northeast Pennsylvania Angel Network by conducting an in-depth due diligence on an investment opportunity. And Sarah Rodstrom provided market research services to tenants at Wilkes-Barre’s Innovation Center.
The experiential component of entrepreneurship classes and extracurricular activities challenge students to take their classroom knowledge and make a difference for local businesses. Small Business Consulting students work with small businesses by providing environmental audits, recommending solutions, and actually implementing the solutions. The Secret Shopper program helps small and growing businesses identify areas for improvement, recommends priorities, and assists in implementation of recommendations.
College students from throughout northeastern Pennsylvania descend on the Wilkes University campus each winter for an intense three-day seminar designed to ignite their entrepreneurial spirit and equip them for success. They learn to construct a business plan, raise capital and run a successful business. The event culminates with a mock business plan competition. The Allan P. Kirby Center co-founded and co-manages the institute.
Financial Independence for Tomorrow (FIT/REACH)
A healthy free enterprise depends on an educated population equipped for self-sufficiency.
The Allan P. Kirby Center, in collaboration with SIFE and the University Office of
Community Service, encourages entrepreneurship students to give back to the community
through its Financial Independence for Tomorrow (FIT) program. Students reach out
to a range of audiences with education and training on financial literacy and survival
skills. Specific programs are targeted for families with at-risk children, high school
students, college and university students, and the elderly.