SIFE team, including Bottolfson,
qualifies for national event in Philadelphia The Southwest Minnesota State University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) club claimed its seventh straight regional SIFE competition March 20 in Minneapolis to qualify for the May 10-12 national competition in Philadelphia, PA. A presentation team of six SMSU students competed, led by club president Sunshine Sinarath, an MBA graduate student from Redwood Falls, MN. The rest of the presentation team included Ben Dolan, junior from Appleton, MN; Emily Doherty, sophomore Larchwood, IA; Stacy Bottolfson, freshman from Vermillion; Travis Olsem, senior from Dundee, MN; and Jeana Watts, junior from Marshall, MN. The SMSU SIFE team completed 23 projects this past year, and judges were impressed with the depth and breadth of those projects.Project highlights included the formation of the Center of Rural Entrepreneurship (CORE), a group of 10 non-profits that work with rural entrepreneurs. "We brought all of them together, that way we can do a larger number of projects with higher quality, utilizing the resources of the partners," said Sinarath.SIFE members also participated in "Let's Get to Business," a classroom project for fifth- and sixth-graders at Holy Redeemer School who were taught how to start a business. SIFE also expanded its business at the old Nature's Backyard location in downtown Marshall. Now called The Village, it includes the birding store Nature's Backyard, a t-shirt screen print shop called Village Apparel, along with Village Marketplace, a consignment area for products made in the region. The SIFE team was judged on seven topic areas: free market economics, personal success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability, business ethics and club sustainability. "All of our projects needed to fall into one of those categories," said Sinarath. "I thought we did well in the competition and we hope to make it better in the next two months to enhance our national presentation," said Sinarath. The SIFE club merged with the Accounting Club this year. There are over 80 SIFE members. The group's advisor is Business Administration Professor Dr. John Gochenouer.