To foster business, community, and workforce development and facilitate the process of innovation to enhance the regional economy and support the transfer of institutional knowledge and resources derived from within the University to the external environment to create new, high-value jobs, positive economic and social benefits, and advance entrepreneurship.
In 2003, the Innovation Center and closely allied nonprofit organization Missouri Research Corporation were launched to support Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development. Over the next several years, those entities’ efforts included offering business development services, business incubator space, entrepreneurial training, access to capital, research and technical assistance, and more.
In 2006, the entities partnered with the Kauffman Foundation and the Delta Regional Authority to offer trainings for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
By 2011, there had been over 600 participants trained through the program resulting in 281 new businesses. The Kauffman Foundation then joined with the nonprofit to continue the development and distribution of the program nationwide to over 150 affiliate organizations.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the entities with designation as an Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center and the nonprofit was renamed the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) to reflect its development into more entrepreneurial and economic development activity. With this rapid growth of both outreach and student-focused efforts, there was a separation to better serve each group resulting in the now Economic and Business Engagement Center primarily serving the external community.
Crystal Jones, PCED
Certifications• Professional Community & Economic Developer, Community Development Institute
• Delta Leadership Institute, Delta Regional Authority
• Executive Education, Harvard Kennedy School
Certifications• Certified Global Business Professional, NASBITE
• LivePlan Expert Advisor
• Economic Gardening, Edward Lowe Foundation
• EMSI Certified, Economic Modeling Specialists International
Certifications• Economic Development Strategies Certification, Delta Regional Authority
Continuing Education Program Technician
Certifications• Apple Teacher
• Social Marketing Certification, Hootsuite Academy