A $1.8 million gift to the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship will bolster the Florida State University College of Business’ services, especially to entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged communities in South Florida.
The donation given by Jan Moran, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. and The Jim Moran Foundation will provide $600,000 annually for the next three years.
“At the age of 7 my husband, Jim, became an entrepreneur selling soda pop at ball games and by the age of 19 owned his first gas station, so he knew what it meant to work hard, make sacrifices, and prepare for the future,” said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation and senior vice president of JM Family Enterprises. “I know Jim would be very happy that this new gift will continue to provide those who otherwise could not afford it an opportunity to establish and build their own businesses at no cost.”
Jim Combs, the Jim Moran Professor of Management and executive director of the Institute, said the gift will help FSU build a world-class undergraduate entrepreneurship major and expand training programs into South Florida with a special focus on underserved populations who may lack the knowledge and support to start a business.
“Part of the expanded outreach will occur by greatly increasing our Web presence as well as our outreach in Southeast Florida,” Combs said. “We hope to build a place where entrepreneurs can find easily accessible videos, podcasts, free advice and direction to resources in their local communities.”
FSU’s College of Business aims to have its undergraduate program ranked in the top 10 of all entrepreneurship programs by external organizations. The gift also allows FSU to redesign its entrepreneurship curriculum.
“Sophomores will work in small groups to start, run, and harvest ‘microbusinesses,'” Combs said. “Seniors will have the opportunity to work with inventors from around campus to conduct feasibility studies, write business plans and build trade show displays.”
Other benefits made possible by the gift include:
- Increased mentoring of students by entrepreneurs;
- More classroom visits by entrepreneurs;
- Certificate programs for potential future entrepreneurs now majoring in diverse fields, such as chemistry, art, law and medicine;
- Original entrepreneurship research publications; and
- Staff hired to concentrate on academic research and scholarships.
The Jim Moran Institute was created in 1995 through a $1.7 million endowment made possible by funds given by Jim and Jan Moran and JM Family Enterprises and supplemented by the state’s matching gift money. These endowment dollars established four professorships, including the executive director position. Combs replaces longtime Executive Director Jerry Osteryoung, who retires in January. An additional $2 million gift by the Morans and JM Family in 1998 increased the institute’s staff and services. This gift also provided for two annual scholarships — one in South Florida and one in North Florida — to give outstanding African-American Youth Achievers a needs-based, four-year scholarship to Florida State University, sponsored by The Jim Moran Foundation.
Since its inception, the Jim Moran Institute has directly assisted more than 3,000 businesses throughout the state of Florida. The institute offers free consulting to entrepreneurs with annual sales between $1 million and $10 million. The goal is to help them make strategic decisions that lead to improved profits and performance.
“Florida State University’s Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship already has some of the best faculty in the country,” Combs said. “With these financial resources, we plan to become known as one of the best entrepreneurship centers in the country overall.”
About JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
JM Family Enterprises, Inc. (JM Family) (www.jmfamily.com) is a $12.2 billion diversified automotive company ranked by Forbes as the 22nd-largest privately held company in the U.S. It is currently ranked No. 23 by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, its 10th consecutive year on the list. The company is also ranked No. 7 on Computerworld‘s list of “100 Best Places to Work in IT.” Primary subsidiaries and divisions include: Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, World Omni Financial Corp., JM&A Group, JM Service Center LLC, JM Lexus and JMsolutions. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla., JM Family has major operations in Jacksonville and Margate, Fla.; Commerce and Alpharetta, Ga.; Mobile, Ala.; and St. Louis, Mo.
About The Jim Moran Foundation
The mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Boulevard, Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more about The Foundation, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.
About the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
Since its inception, the Jim Moran Institute (www.cob.fsu.edu/jmi) has directly assisted more than 3,000 businesses throughout the state of Florida. The Institute offers free consulting to entrepreneurs with annual sales between $1 million and $10 million. The goal is to help them make strategic decisions that lead to improved profits and performance.