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SalukiCEO Corps growing, seeking new members

February 12, 2009, Meredith Rhoads

${image-alt} Saluki CEO

Start your own business. Be your own boss.

These ideas are the premise for the Saluki Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Corps at Southern Illinois University. Saluki CEO Corps is committed to finding the entrepreneurial spirit within both undergraduate and graduate students at SIU. The young campus organization already boasts nearly 40 members and is constantly seeking new ones. Of the current members this semester, over 20 will have the opportunity to consult actual clients of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Carbondale. In fact, the Corps claims the best benefit to being a part of their organization is learning how to consult.

Consulting real world businesses gives these students a chance to have members’ ideas used in a real business setting. Current Saluki CEO Corps president, Renee Favreau, sees major opportunity by being a member of the Corps, “I truly feel one thing our organization can provide is real life, real world experience that can have actual implications for a business in our area”. The actual consulting is done by members of the CEO Corps, who earn a Certificate of Consulting. This is attained by completing 4 training modules along with writing a one page business plan including an elevator pitch. This may sound difficult, but the CEO Corps current members and staff provide constant support to help future consultants get out into the field. The Saluki CEO Corps remains focused on their objective through strong alliances with the Center for Innovation, the SBDC, and the Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center.

All Saluki CEO Corps members are constantly exposed to local entrepreneurs to learn not only about successes, but also about frequent challenges and ways to rise above them. These local entrepreneurs offer insight only a real business owner can provide. In fact, this semester the group got the chance to meet with the owner of Pinch Penny Pub to discuss the challenges he faces every day. Said Favreau, “This is a great chance to meet successful business leaders and learn from their successes and failures.”

Saluki CEO is about business, networking, real world experience, and, most of all, fun. The Corps takes trips to local businesses for tours. The group recently studied “Uncorked Tours”, a local start-up company, begun by SIUC graduate Sara LaFave. The study included trips to local wineries to see the inner workings and to taste the products. Also, this semester, the group plans to take a trip to Rent One Park, in Marion, Illinois where they will visit with the owner of the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team.

Aspiring members don’t have to know how to consult or know the process of opening a small business. The Saluki CEO Corps teaches these things through exciting experiences and inspirational business leaders. The organization is open to any major, undergraduate or graduate. All they ask is that students come with a willingness to learn to see the world through entrepreneurial eyes.

Saluki CEO Corps is located in the Dunn-Richmond Center located on East Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Anyone interested in joining the Corps may stop by the Dunn-Richmond Center anytime between 8-4:30pm, fill out a membership form and pay a $25 member fee.

For additional information visit the Saluki CEO website, http://www.siuc.edu/~salukiceo , or, call 453-5047 and ask Jenni Janssen about joining the Corps!