Longtime Florida State University supporters have made a $4.25 million gift that will expand the international reach of The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship based in the College of Business.
FSU President Eric J. Barron and Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, dean of the College of Business, were in South Florida on Monday, April 4, to personally thank donors Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation for their lead donations to establish "The Entrepreneurial University." The gift agreement was signed at The Jim Moran Foundation’s headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
The infusion of money — $850,000 a year for five years — will build on The Jim Moran Institute’s mission of cultivating, training and inspiring entrepreneurial leaders. New, more extensive initiatives are planned, including an annual national small business and entrepreneurship conference that will launch in 2012; a prestigious Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers National Conference, to be hosted by The Jim Moran Institute in the near future; and the addition of an associate director of outreach who will support programs that serve minority entrepreneurs and business owners, at no charge, in the South Florida area.
Continuing the generous giving of the late automotive industry legend Jim Moran and the company he founded, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., his wife, Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation have pledged their largest gifts yet, placing them among FSU’s top donors. Nearly $5 million has been given previously.
"When my husband created The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship in 1995, it was his vision that its services would extend far beyond the walls of FSU’s campus," said Jan Moran. "Since then, thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners have been served — all at no charge. The intention of this new gift is to continue supporting The Jim Moran Institute’s reach beyond Tallahassee with programs that will have a defining impact and further enhance and promote its prominence and excellence in the study and support of entrepreneurs.
"I am excited that The Jim Moran Institute will now take a leadership role in FSU’s transformation into ‘The Entrepreneurial University,’" said Moran. "I know Jim would be very proud of what has been accomplished and the influence that The Jim Moran Institute will have in the success and future of local and global entrepreneurs creating new jobs and opportunities in our communities."
Since it was established in 1995, The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship has been providing services and resources to entrepreneurs and business owners across the state, researching entrepreneurship and providing students — from elementary school through the doctoral level — with the chance to learn about and experience entrepreneurship.
Now, The Jim Moran Institute is leading Florida State’s transformation to an entrepreneurial culture, promoting learning for students that will constantly push innovation and creativity forward. Through programs that are launched as a result of FSU’s "The Entrepreneurial University" initiative, students will be immersed in an idea-generating environment across all disciplines that will result in the creation of new jobs for Florida and beyond.
"This is an exciting time at Florida State," said Dr. Tim R. Holcomb, executive director of The Jim Moran Institute and the university’s Jim Moran Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship. "With the enthusiastic support of Jan Moran, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. and The Jim Moran Foundation, The Jim Moran Institute has significantly expanded its programs over the past two years and has built on the prominent leadership role that it plays in the entrepreneurial community.
"The new programs will enable us to better help business leaders, entrepreneurs and students achieve their dream of entrepreneurial success," Holcomb said. "This work not only sets the groundwork for us to extend our reach to a more diverse group of entrepreneurial leaders, but also sets Florida State on a course to transform the university culture to one that fosters innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship — an initiative that speaks to the legacy of Jim Moran."
"The Entrepreneurial University" initiative recognizes the shift in national and state trends from big business to smaller firms — 98.2 percent of U.S. businesses have fewer than 100 employees. In Florida, 99.7 percent of businesses have fewer than 100 employees; however, those businesses provide 82.4 percent of the state’s 8.47 million jobs.
Guided by Jim Moran’s philosophy — "The future belongs to those who prepare for it" — The Jim Moran Institute has expanded its programs over the past 24 months. The recently opened Student Business Incubator, for example, provides office space and resources that can support up to eight early-stage, student-led ventures and connects enterprising students from across Florida State’s campus with mentors from faculty and the business community. The Jim Moran Institute’s Chempreneur® Technology Commercialization program exposes students to different aspects of technology commercialization, giving them first-hand experience in the development of commercial products from research discoveries.
Other expanded programs include a Youth Entrepreneurship Development program that reached more than 1,650 elementary- and high- school students last year, and the highly acclaimed Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities that has trained and supported more than 300 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Jim Moran Institute also offers an undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship and certificate programs in entrepreneurship for business and non-business majors.
"The programs at The Jim Moran Institute are unique," said Eric J. Barron, the president of Florida State. "These programs enable students to delve into their creativity and their passions, and combine them with the rigorous business education they are receiving to realize their dream careers. Through the generosity of Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation, and the eagerness of the university to pursue a more entrepreneurial culture, these programs will be able to transform the way all of our students learn and the way we operate as a university."
About The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship
The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship was established in 1995 through generous donations from automotive industry legend Jim Moran, his wife Jan, and JM Family Enterprises, Inc and was supplemented with a major grant from the State of Florida to create a fully funded endowment. Its mission is to cultivate, train and inspire entrepreneurial leaders in the community through world-class education, leading-edge research and applied training, intensive consulting assistance and mentorship to entrepreneurs and business owners at no charge, and public recognition. The staff of entrepreneurship professionals, academic scholars, and staff foster the entrepreneurial spirit by helping to organize, expand and promote the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship in such a way as to facilitate new business and to further the goals of established businesses. The Jim Moran Institute’s faculty and staff provide students, faculty, aspiring entrepreneurs, and business owners the tools and expertise necessary to develop strategies that establish and sustain advantages for businesses in today’s competitive marketplace and to creatively pursue new opportunities and innovations involving the startup of new business ventures. Through degree and certificate programs in entrepreneurship, outreach programs that reach across Florida and throughout the world, and complementary activities such as half-day workshops and a speaker series, The Jim Moran Institute currently serves more than 1,000 undergraduates and about 200 businesses each year.
About The Jim Moran Foundation
Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, 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. The Foundation has invested more than $20 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, after school and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 — with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation’s significant funders are JM Family Enterprises Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.