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UNCP will host the 9th annual Entrepreneurship Summit April 20

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PEMBROKE, N.C. – If you are a budding entrepreneur or have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, you don’t want to miss UNC Pembroke’s 9th annual Entrepreneurship Summit on April 20.

The day-long event will feature information, speakers, a resource fair, business leaders and a business idea competition. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Thomas Center for Entrepreneurship located in the Entrepreneurship Incubator at 202 Main Street in Pembroke.

The summit is free and open to the public.

The keynote speakers are Remedios Gómez Arnau, Consul General of Mexico for North Carolina and South Carolina and Russell Sobel, professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship in the School of Business at The Citadel.

The summit will provide businesses and residents across the region with resources and inspiration to nourish new opportunities.

“We are excited about our upcoming summit,” said Thomas Hall, executive director of the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship.

“The theme is ‘Ideas and Resources’ which is what entrepreneurs and small businesses in our community are most concerned about,” Hall said.

“We have a number of groups coming in that can answer questions on funding, sales and marketing, and then in the afternoon we will have a pitch competition all about new ideas that will build business and jobs in the county.

“Our two keynotes speakers round out the day by providing perspective on international business, particularly US-Mexican trade, and what is takes to succeed as a start up.”

The summit kicks off with a resource fair at 10 a.m.

Several groups will be on hand to assist individuals with their start-up business, including the Small Business Administration, Small Business and Technology Development Center, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, Chambers of Commerce, and Robeson Community College Small Business Center.

A business luncheon will follow at noon featuring Arnau as the keynote speaker.

Diplomat Arnau was appointed by the President of Mexico as Consul General in Raleigh in 2016. She previously headed the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta and San Diego.

The Chancellor’s Challenge will begin at 2 p.m.

The Chancellor's Challenge is an opportunity for thinkers, dreamers and innovators from across the county to display their entrepreneurial spirit in one of the following areas of sustainability: agriculture, home health care or home and school construction.

Twelve teams will be competing for a $1,000 cash prize, recognition and three months free space in the Entrepreneurship Incubator.

“This should be a spirited competition,” Hall said.

Awards will be given for second and third place, as well as awards for the "People's Choice" and "Most Creative Presentation." Presentations will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The second keynote speaker, Sobel, will speak at 5 p.m. Dr. Sobel, a native of Charleston, S.C., has authored or co-authored more than 150 books and articles, including a nationally-best-selling college Principles of Economics textbook. He is a Visiting Fellow at the South Carolina Policy Council.

The event is sponsored by the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship.

For more information about the summit, contact Cheryl Rogers at or 910-775-4065.

UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. For more information, contact Mark Locklear, Public Communications Specialist with University Communications and Marketing, via email ( or by phone (910.521.6351). Connect with UNC Pembroke on social media or online at to learn how the university is changing lives through education.