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MTSU’s African-American students take ‘...

MTSU’s African-American students take ‘Initiative’ from entrepreneurship fair

Entrepreneur Susan Vanderbilt, left, owner of the consulting business Entrée Savvy, chats with students following the Feb. 1 “Initiative” event hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in the Tom Jackson Building. Vanderbilt was guest speaker for the event, which shared information about how aspiring entrepreneurs can be successful. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

As she prepares to launch her nonprofit organization, Pursuing Your Purpose with Passion, or P-3, MTSU senior Tranae Chatman is excited to embark on her journey as an entrepreneur.

Community members joined MTSU students on campus earlier this month to hear entrepreneurs like Chatman, a history major and Nashville native, share what it takes to start a business.

The Iota Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held its first collegiate black entrepreneurship fair, dubbed “Initiative,” Feb. 1 in the Tom Jackson Building. The event’s purpose was to help both current and aspiring entrepreneurs gain knowledge on how to succeed.

“It can be scary starting up your own organization where all the rules and all the execution is up to you,” Chatman added. “Once you start moving and people respond to and appreciate your vision, it is extremely rewarding.”

Keynote speaker and entrepreneur Susan Vanderbilt, who started Entrée Savvy in 2013, highlighted the importance of leaving your imprint everywhere you go.

Susan Vanderbilt, owner, Entree Savvy

Susan Vanderbilt

“The ripple effect is critical … as an entrepreneur we have to be curious and authentic,” said Vanderbilt, whose consulting business supports personal and small business development.

She encouraged attendees to take note of each and every vision that may come to mind.

“Whatever you set your mind to, that’s where you’re going,” she added.

Many attendees found themselves making great connections while picking up tips on how to create a thriving business.

Chatman explained how much dedication goes into becoming your own boss.

“Since I am the founder and we are still brand new, I do most of the work myself,” she said. “However, nothing I’ve done thus far would be possible without the help and support of my friends and family.”

Beginning this fall, Chatman’s P-3 project plans to offer postgraduation “scholarships” for qualified incoming freshmen who will attend MTSU, Tennessee State University or Vanderbilt. The scholarship will double as a savings account that students can redeem after graduating.

“I was inspired by a need for effective mentorship within the Nashville community,” Chatman said.

MTSU senior Tranae Chatman, founder of the nonprofit, Pursuing Your Purpose with Passion, or P-3, stands at her display table during the Feb. 1 “Initiative” event hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in the Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

MTSU senior Tranae Chatman, founder of the nonprofit Pursuing Your Purpose with Passion, or P-3, stands at her display table during the Feb. 1 “Initiative” event hosted by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in the Tom Jackson Building. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

Delta Sigma Theta hosted the event to help kick off Black History Month.

We hosted this entrepreneur fair to acknowledge the hard-working African-American students on campus that are trying to build a brand for themselves during and after college,” said Delta member Kiara Chambers.

Along with Chatman, MTSU student entrepreneurs and their businesses featured at the event included:

Dominique Mitchell — Domino Effect, a clothing brand.
Francis, the Truman — Fit(s) By Francis, stylist and clothing distributor.
Jaelon Carr — Bold Imagery, Jaythefashionguru, stylist.
Leah Walton — The N.O.I.S.E. Magazine, a publication dedicated to showcasing youth in the areas of music, culture and style.
TaMyron Penny — Boss Up, a brand that inspires individuals to take control of their lives.
Trellini Lunsford — Salute the Shooter, a photography and videography brand.

“I believe entrepreneurship is important because it allows someone to apply what they learned in the classroom to the experience of building a company and a brand from the ground up,” Chambers said.

— Jayla Jackson (news@mtsu.edu)


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