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Liberal Arts Appoints House-Soremekun as Director of Entrepreneurship Research Center

Bessie House-Soremekun
Bessie House-Soremekun

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July 6, 2011

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The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI has appointed Bessie House-Soremekun, Ph.D., as the founding executive director of the school’s Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, Dean Bill Blomquist announced recently.

House-Soremekun is the Public Scholar in African-American Studies, Civic Engagement and Entrepreneurship; professor of political science; and professor of Africana studies at IUPUI. The professor is an award-winning author, inventor and entrepreneur, as well as an internationally-recognized scholar, expert, and advocate on entrepreneurship and economic development.

The Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development (CEGESUD) is an interdisciplinary research and community outreach center with more than 20 renowned research fellows who will conduct research on the political, economic, cultural and social impacts of globalization with particular emphasis on its manifestations in Africa and minority communities in the United States.

CEGESUD staff also will conduct research on non-traditional types of entrepreneurship which include sustainability entrepreneurship and the creation of environmentally-friendly eco-clusters that support sustainable development initiatives.

In addition to conducting research, the center will help build institutions and entrepreneurial capacity at the grass-roots level of society in Indiana, other parts of the U.S. and selected African countries. The CEGESUD also will be integrally involved in workforce development activities.

The establishment of the CEGESUD at IUPUI builds upon more than 15 years of prior success experienced by House-Soremekun in Ohio where she collaboratively created four entrepreneurial centers which include the National Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., the Center for the Study and Development of Minority Businesses, the Entrepreneurial Academy of the Cleveland Empowerment Zone, and a spin-off center, the Entrepreneurial Academy of Youngstown, Ohio.

Professor House-Soremekun created the business training modules utilized in training programs at the Ohio entrepreneurial centers. More than 400 individuals attended the business classes provided by the centers and more than 51 businesses were established to create new jobs and wealth for the economy.

House-Soremekun has written and received more than 20 grant awards totaling more than $1.2 million dollars from federal, state and private sources.

The CEGESUD director is the author/editor of six books, including two which will be published this year by the University of Rochester Press and Africa World Press. House-Soremekun is currently working collaboratively with PBS/WVIZ ideastream to create a television documentary based on her award-winning book, Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio.

Several African universities have invited House-Soremekun to train their faculty and personnel to create new businesses in Africa to foster greater levels of economic independence.