The Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) is designed to advance high school innovation and student entrepreneurship in the state of Mississippi. SEP programming consists of an annual series of regional, virtual, and statewide student opportunities, each specifically designed to introduce high school students to essential topics like opportunity recognition, market validation, and communication skills.

Our Mission

The mission of the Southern Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) is to provide Mississippi’s youth a head start in becoming our state’s future innovators and business leaders through a hands-on approach to opportunity recognition and value creation.

Our History

Founded in 2007 as the Southern Mississippi Youth Entrepreneurship Program (SMYEP), the SEP was developed in response to a critical lack of experiential entrepreneurship education within Mississippi’s K-12 system. The University of Southern Mississippi, Jones County Junior College, the Area Development Partnership, Harrison County Economic Development Authority, the Economic Development Authority of Jones County, and a pilot group of four Mississippi public high schools participated in the initial development of the program in Forrest, Harrison, and Jones Counties.

The SEP is coordinated by the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education (CEEE) as an outreach service of The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business and Economic Development.

What We Teach

  • Local Opportunity Recognition
  • Personal Asset Mapping
  • Market Research & Validation
  • Soft Skills (e.g., networking, business etiquette)
  • Business Financing (e.g., bootstrapping)
  • Furthering Education
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Planning & Development

Want to see it in action? Check out our upcoming Events!