Coleman Fellows

Ibata Arens Coleman Fellow Final Report

Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the American Economy (Sophomore Seminar, LSP 200)

Kathryn Ibata-Arens, March 2011

Follows is a summary of the activities that I was able to accomplish thanks to the Coleman Foundation Fellowship:


1.     Created a new module for my Immigrant Entrepreneur course on business planning.

2.     Hosted a business planning workshop, led by April Lane of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. The result was that the majority of the students are opting to try to propose a business (rather than write a research paper)! Some of the ideas are really neat, including a fusion Philippine/Mexican restaurant and a social entrepreneurship project for enrichment education in under-served Chicago communities.


3.     Hired two RAs, who have assisted in modifying the course and also supporting the fieldwork that students in the course will have to do - in ethnic entrepreneurial communities in Chicago.


4.     Hosted a venture capitalist who is working with the “search model” of private equity investment developed at Stanford University. Brian O’Conner of Fellowship Capital gave a lecture on the challenges and trends in venture capital investment in start-up companies, followed by an informal Q&A session with students to provide insights on the challenges of raising start-up capital in the current economic climate. Two students subsequently sought internships at Fellowship Capital (I believe they were looking for one DePaul student to learn the ropes of VC), conveniently located in Lincoln Park.


5.     We also had several students apply for Blueprint/ Launch DePaul. What a great outcome!


6.     Finally, thanks to the ability to use my funds to support two research assistants, we were able to create a database and geographic mappings of the various ethnic communities in Chicago, as well as collect information on local ethnic entrepreneurship, informal new business incubation supports in these communities, as well as other data. We hope to further develop this resource for DePaul students in the future.


Next Steps (pending second year funding):


For my Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the American Economy, I shall be developing and adding a new module on NPO business planning, incorporating the Steans Center for social entrepreneur mentors, as well as expanding the experiential component. I will also be working to develop a go-to list of people/local entrepreneurs to come to class to do discussion/training/business planning feedback sessions. I will also consider adding - on a rotational basis - emerging technology themes and requisite business plan trainers/serial entrepreneurs.