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NMSU's Arrowhead Center seeks BIG ideas for small businesses

Got a big idea for a small business? The Entrepreneurship Institute at New Mexico State University wants to hear about it. The institute is kicking off the New Mexico Business Challenge, an invitation for aspiring entrepreneurs, existing small businesses and not-for-profit corporations to create and submit innovative business proposals.


"Our goal is to help grow the next crop of New Mexican entrepreneurs," said Matt Elgersma, business research and outreach coordinator for Arrowhead Center. "We want to help contestants access valuable business research and give them the best opportunity to turn their ground-breaking business ideas into profitable start-up companies."

The challenge is intended to promote the Entrepreneurship Institute's small business services available to New Mexicans. Business concepts in all fields are encouraged for the competition.

The Entrepreneurship Institute was created in 2008 to enhance the ability of businesses and emerging entrepreneurs in New Mexico to thrive. The customized business assistance provided by the institute has helped more than 250 nonprofits and small businesses in New Mexico across several industries.

"Despite the significant economic challenges New Mexico faces, an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit abounds here," said Sara Pirayesh Sanders, director of the Entrepreneurship Institute. "We understand the strength of New Mexico's economy hinges on the success of its small and medium-sized businesses. We are committed to providing the next wave of entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. This business challenge is a wonderful example of how we are doing just that."

Interested contestants must complete and return project submission forms by Jan. 15, 2010. Forms can be found online at http://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/business/projSub.php . Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of need, concept feasibility, originality and economic and business impact in New Mexico. Finalists will be announced by Jan. 31, 2010. The number of projects selected will depend on the size and scope of the entries received. For questions regarding this challenge, contact Elgersma at (575) 646-7832 or melgersm@nmsu.edu.