The initial presentation in the Clayton State University School of Business Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featured guidelines on and for entrepreneurship from W. Cliff Oxford, CEO of Entrepreneur Advisors.
Speaking to an almost full house in Spivey Hall on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 27, Oxford, the founder (in 1995) of STI Knowledge, Inc., and Entrepreneur Advisors (“We’re trying to find the next Google” he said by way of explanation of his current firm, which creates, produces and delivers entrepreneurial education through monthly symposiums), noted some strategies for entrepreneurial success during his address.
Perhaps not surprisingly to anyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock for the past few years, Oxford noted that social media is changing America, and that there was a message there for entrepreneurs… and universities as well.
“Social media has fundamentally changed how we buy stuff,” he said. “People buy today when tells them on Facebook or Twitter they bought something and liked it.
“Colleges should get 50 students out there on Facebook to say they like their college.”
While Facebook may be a valued tool for present entrepreneurs, Oxford was maybe more concerned about the future of entrepreneurism, speaking at some length on the topic of what entrepreneurs need to do to not have their bubble burst. Most memorably, he pointed to a need for immigration and tax breaks to keep the entrepreneurial bubble intact.
“What entrepreneurism needs in this country is immigration… people willing to risk their lives and come here,” he said, using as examples his ancestors who arrived in America in 1640, and the founder of Google, who’s from Russia. “The differences brought into this country by immigration produce challenges of thought; differences make it (America) stronger.
“The new creativity isn’t coming from similarities.”
When asked during the Q&A session that followed his presentation what entrepreneurs need from the government, he advocated, in addition to a change in immigration policy (“Business is very concerned with immigration policy, it’s working behind the scenes”), tax breaks, specifically tax breaks for start-ups, plus second and third generation level entrepreneurs.
Oxford’s presentation was the first in what is planned to be a yearly series of distinguished lectures under the direction of the dean of the Clayton State School of Business, Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi.