Sally Nichols, Social Media Coordinator
June 19, 2017
DUE WEST – On May 2, 2017, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) and Erskine College were proud to host the second annual Business Plan Competition.
During this competition, students from various local high schools gathered at Erskine’s campus to present innovative entrepreneurial proposals in PowerPoint presentations to a panel of judges.
The preliminary round judges included Greg Graber, owner of GT Building in Due West; Paul Bell, CEO of The Renaissance in Due West; Lora Healey, former marketing executive at Capsugel in Greenwood; Jack Abraham, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Erskine College; and Harold Prince, member of the Abbeville County Council and general manager of Prince Motor Company in Abbeville.
The judges for the final round of the competition included Chanda Ferguson, owner of Uptown Girls in Abbeville; Mark Meyers, project manager and marketing coordinator for Abbeville First Bank; and Matt Wiggins, area manager of the Small Business Development Center in Greenwood.
Assisting in the competition was the Business Strategy class of Tracy McCurry, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Erskine College. This class not only helped plan and execute the event, they also participated in timekeeping, monitoring rooms, escorting competitors, and more.
In order for high school students to compete in this event, they had to first win their individual high school business plan competitions. The students presented their PowerPoint business proposals to their high school teachers, and, upon winning, submitted their PowerPoint proposals to Erskine College. The Business Strategy class then reviewed each proposal and ranked the high school competitors for the preliminary competition.
After the preliminary competition that morning in Reid Hall, the remaining participants were escorted to the final round held in Bowie Arts Center that afternoon. The final competition was followed by the awards ceremony.
The winner of the competition was Landon Gray with BGFT Apparel from Crescent High School in Iva. Landon plans to attend Wofford College where he will participate in the Entrepreneurial Launch Program to further expand his business. Following Gray was Hope Peeler in second place with The Red Elephant Café from Dixie High School in Due West. In third place was Payton Busbee from Abbeville high School with Bountiful Baskets, and Carson Burgin with Bubble Unlimited from Crescent High School.
All participating high schools were proudly represented by superb candidates who will surely change the future of business for good. The FCCF looks forward to the great things these young men and women will accomplish, and is hopeful for a bright future for all participants and their businesses.
Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator
April 20, 2016
DUE WEST — On May 9, 2016, Erskine College and the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) are proud to host their first ever Business Plan Competition at Erskine College.
During this competition, students from various high schools will present innovative entrepreneurial ideas in a PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges. These judges will consist of successful local businessmen and women.
The competition will take place from 9:00am to 2:30pm. The Business Strategy class of Erskine’s business professor Tracy McCurry will assist in the planning and executing of the event. These Erskine students will carry out various tasks, such as timekeeping, greeting, monitoring rooms, and escorting, among others.
In order for high school students to compete in this event, they must first compete and win in their high school competitions. The students present their PowerPoint business proposals to their high school teachers and then the winners submit the PowerPoints to Erskine College. The Erskine business class students will then review the slides and notes and rank the competitors for the preliminary competition.
The preliminary competition will take place in Reid Hall on the Erskine Campus, and then the participants and their teachers will be escorted to Erskine’s Bowie Arts Center for the final competition. Following the final competition will be a guest business speaker from the FCCF, and then at 2:30pm the awards ceremony will take place.
Both Erskine College and the FCCF are excited to be a part of this competition. The community is welcome to come observe the competition and learn more about business ideas and how they become successful. The FCCF looks forward to the competition and to working with the business department of Erskine College.
Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator
October 29, 2015
DUE WEST — Last Monday, at the Renaissance LLC Retirement Community, the community of Due West gathered with small business owners and experts to learn how to make Due West successful both in business and in creating community.
After enjoying a dinner catered by The Renaissance, the meeting began with an enthusiastic welcome from Will Ferreira and updates on how the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) plans to enrich Due West.
“Our goal is to promote Erskine College,” Will stated. Due West is a college town, and businesses and community alike must take advantage of this asset.
The town of Due West also plans to eventually build a Community Enrichment Center, a place that will provide everything from education to fellowship.
Will then introduced Rusty Burns, Administrator for Anderson County, who spoke about Due West’s greatest assets and the areas that the town could grow and flourish in. “You really have a beautiful town to start with,” Rusty encouraged.
Rusty sees great potential in even more economic growth through Erskine College and with public-private partnerships. Erskine notoriously sends many students to medical school and should play up this trait, while Due West should focus on creating good locations for buildings that could be used by potential business owners.
Next, Matt Wiggins spoke about opportunities for small businesses. Matt is the Area Manager and Business Consultant for the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) stationed at Lander University, and he discussed the different areas of his free consulting services. Business planning, financial options and management, business growth, sales and market strategies, and business seminars are just a few of the areas that Matt and the SBDC serve the communities in South Carolina with.
To close the meeting, Heide Trull, owner of Grits & Groceries in Belton, spoke about her journey to success and how she stays successful by utilizing social media advertising and giving back to the community. She spends 80% of Grits & Groceries’ money within a 100 mile radius, buys from local growers, and has her employees write 25 thank-you notes every day. “We only want to promote what’s great about Due West,” Heide said.
Due West has many areas to improve in, but it has even more areas of success. The community in and around Due West is ready for growth, and the FCCF plans to do just that through promoting small businesses, building a Community Enrichment Center, and promoting Erskine College.