The Elliott Initiative is a multi-year, multi-topic, multi-dimensional and inter-disciplinary initiative aimed at continually enhancing academic quality within the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business. Each year is given a theme, and around this theme, a number of activities to promote teaching, research, and community service in the College of Business are organized throughout the year. Edward W. Elliott, Jr. (’67 B.B.A.) has made the generous gift for this initiative in memory of his late wife Betty F. Elliott (also ’67, B.B.A.).
The theme for 2012-2013 is "Doing Business in Detroit", and proposals were sought related to the role of urban entrepreneurship in urban economic development.
A glimpse of various multi-dimensional activities and initiatives organized on the topic is as follows:
- The Elliott Scholarly Research Award was awarded to Elsie Harper-Anderson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
- BA 480: Urban Entrepreneurship, the Elliott Seminar Course for the Bachelor of Business Administration program is offered during the Winter 2013 Semester to College of Business undergraduate students. Representing the diverse meanings of entrepreneurship, the course examines the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the City of Detroit and the surrounding region. The course will explore the historical, economic, social, and cultural context of the City, and how they influence business opportunities in Detroit. Students will gain hands-on experience in seeing how small businesses start and grow, and understanding the role businesses can play in neighborhoods and the impact they have on communities.
- The Betty F. Elliott Lecture Series featured a Business Over Breakfast event which examined “Workforce Development and the Challenges of Hiring.” Focused on topics related to “Doing Business in Detroit” the panel of experts answered questions along the lines of what are the hiring challenges that lie ahead as our region's economy shows signs of revitalization, yet some firms still struggle to fill positions in information technology and marketing? The event was hosted in conjunction with Crain's Detroit Business in November 2012. Nearly 75 people were in attendance.
- A Pitch Competition is planned for April 2013. In this competition, any currently enrolled UM-Dearborn student will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas for an entrepreneurial start up that would affect Detroit Business. Cash prizes will be awarded.