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U-M Students Fired Up About Basketball And Entrepreneurship

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - Students at the University of Michigan aren't just fired up about the Final Four. They're also excited about entrepreneurship programs on the Ann Arbor campus.

During March Madness, 18 student organizations have come together over the past month to celebrate a Month of Entrepreneurship at U-M. One of the student-led groups is the Detroit Entrepreneurship Network, which was co-founded by Sophomore Aashka Soni.

"And we've been working with Cass Tech and the Farmington Schools District, bringing students from the city and suburbs together, to talk about entrepreneurship in Detroit and how you turn an idea and how you take an idea and go through the steps to turn it into a business," said Soni.

Soni said the kids learn about entrepreneurship through fun workshops and activities.

"We have young entrepreneurs come in that the kids can relate to. People they can look up to, so they can learn their lessons and apply what they learn to their own projects."

And according to Soni, entrepreneurship does not have to mean just starting a new business.

"Some of the students are looking at anti-bullying and racism in their schools. And this is innovation. This is entrepreneurship, because these students are starting this on their own, it's youth-led. All of the same things they would need for a business. They have to know to market it, and how to find their target audience. So it's pretty exciting to see them do this."

The entrepreneurship continues through April. One of the upcoming events is the optiMize social innovation challenge showcase. The optiMize contest invited teams of students to submit ideas for social entrepreneurship ventures that offer creative solutions to pressing societal problems. On April 18, the top five teams will present their ideas, and compete for grant money.

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