U.S. Chamber of Commerce representatives to visit university

Students looking for an opportunity to rub elbows with local business professionals need not look any further than today’s celebration of free enterprise, one campus official said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce flew in four representatives to speak in a campaign called “American Free Enterprise. Dream Big.”

Brad Hancock, director of the Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center, said students should attend the event because they will hear successful business leaders talk about their experiences and will also have an opportunity to network with local professionals.

“These folks will be telling of their own experiences in free enterprise, as entrepreneurs and in growing very successful businesses,” he said. “The local chambers of commerce have also promoted this event, and there will be great networking opportunities with local business people.”

Ben Witten, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said he looks forward to hearing the advice and experiences of all the speakers. Helping expand his network of professional contacts wouldn’t hurt either, he said.

“I’m a senior graduating in May, looking for a job.” Witten said. “I’ve got a couple of offers, but seeing what is out there and hearing what’s going on will help me, too.”

Mary Kane, U.S. Chamber of Commerce director of special projects, said the purpose of the campaign was to encourage students who have an interest in starting their own businesses to do so.

“All great businesses have started from one small idea and one person’s idea, and we want to encourage them to go out and follow those dreams,” she said

Another reason for this speaker series is to let people know the free enterprise system is not dead in the country, Kane said. Even though the economy was not in a good state, successful businesses were still being run.

“It may not be the prettiest system in the world, but it does work, and it’s worked for a long time in this country,” Kane said. “Also.(we need to) not be dependent on the government creating jobs because that’s never worked in the past. What we need to do is rely on American ingenuity and go about getting great educations.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked different universities where good campaign stops were to launch this program were, and TCU was named over and over again, Hancock said.

“This is such an honor,” he said. “We didn’t go to them, they came to us and.so we welcomed them with open arms. They chose us because of our national reputation in entrepreneurship.”

Hancock said that after all is said and done, in the efforts to get this campaign promoted, the university will be mentioned as one of the inaugural sponsors for the event.

“I think free enterprise, entrepreneurship, job creation and value creation is the life blood of our nation’s economy,” he said. “I think that’s what they’ll be telling people TCU is all about.”

Kane said she was interested in seeing the enthusiasm university students have toward entrepreneurship and free enterprise.

“I’m interested in seeing the enthusiasm from the students,” she said. “From what I understand, it’s terrific, and I’d like to bring that message back (to Washington D.C.) that there is hope out there.”

“American Free Enterprise. Dream Big.” Celebration

When: 5-6:30 p.m. today

Where: Dan Rogers Hall, Room 134

Food will be provided.