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NBA Star Mo Williams Speaks to Future Entrepreneurs in Mississippi

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Apr 2011 03:41pm | comments

Many of Mississippi's best business talent have lost their jobs and now some are going into business for themselves. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how entrepreneurship is growing and how an NBA star wants to help.

With unemployment in the state still higher than ten percent many people are finding new and innovative ways to support themselves. Mo Williams, guard for the Los Angeles Clippers and Jackson native spoke to a group of business students at Jackson State University. Williams says whether it's business or basketball success requires hard work.

"The get rich quick schemes....just stick to your plans. Stick to your goals. Never give up. I know it's going to be tough at times. It gets tough for me. That's for everybody...you've got to understand that."

The Kauffman Foundation says nationally, new business startups are at a 15 year high, but Mississippi has one of the lowest rates for new businesses among African Americans. Dr. Mary White Chairs the entrepreneurship program at Jackson State. She says she wants these young, business minded students to make an impact.

"You have businesses that used to be there that are no longer there. We're going to need some young people to come up with some ideas that are a little different than what we used to know. Bring the younger focus in so they can see it's something that's sorely needed in the community."

One of those students is Courtland White. He's a senior at Jackson State, but he's already getting real world business knowledge. He has developed wireless headphones with an MP3 player built inside, and three national retail chains will begin selling the headphones in July. White says he's glad to be an example for those coming behind him.

"For youth to see someone that's young doing something prosperous I think it ignites something inside of them to spark them to go out and do something. Do something big and let them know it can be done."

Entrepreneurship programs across the state have seen increases in enrollment in recent years. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.

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