sealPurdue News

April 1997

Purdue's 'E-program' boosts business sales over 50%

HAMMOND, Ind. -- No grades were given, but the first "graduates" of Purdue University Calumet's Entrepreneurship program scored high marks for increasing sales.

Collective sales of the program's charter group of 18 business owners increased nearly 56 percent over the two-year period during which they attended classes.

The "E-program" offered by the Purdue-Calumet Entrepreneurship Center is designed to allow participating entrepreneurs to apply newly developed skills and practical information to their own businesses.

"I look at the 55.7 percent increase in total sales revenues for the first group of entrepreneurs not only as a reaffirmation of Purdue Calumet's community commitment, but also as an indicator that our Entrepreneurship Center is right on track providing training for practicing business owners," says Jamaluddin Husain, center director and associate professor of management.

The center is supported, in part, with a grant from the Chicago-based Coleman Foundation, one of the nation's largest contributors to entrepreneurship-awareness education. Michael Hennessy, president and chief executive officer of Coleman, says he's not surprised by the program's early success.

"We felt all along that this unique program is very practical in that it addresses nuts and bolts needs of its participants," he says.

The program is taught in three segments. The first focuses on the "how to" of general management, marketing and finance. The second allows participants to practice learned skills as consultants to small business "clients" of the Purdue Calumet Small Business Institute. During the final segment, participants seek to identify and implement strategic improvements in their own businesses through regular, roundtable meetings with mentors and program peers.

According to program participant Don Swibes, president of SWICO Inc.: "The E-program is fantastic. The strategic changes we have made in our own business have positioned us to make another dramatic improvement in sales and profits in 1997."

The sales results were based on a survey of E-program participants taken before they started classes in April 1995 and then again as the course concluded in February 1997.

CONTACT: Husain, (219) 989-2100.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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