By Joe Garvey

More than 160 participants from 20 countries attended the third colloquium on transitional entrepreneurship, hosted by Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business on June 23 and 24. The colloquia series is supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The event was conducted using a hybrid format, with in-person events held in the Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Anil Nair, professor in the Department of Management and chair of the colloquium, said approximately 60 participants attended in person over the two days.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Garry Bruton, professor in the Management and Leadership Department at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business, who discussed “Moving Entrepreneurship Research Forward: The Need for Intersectionality in Our Scholarship,” and Thomas Lumpkin, visiting senior research associate in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, whose topic was “Transitional Entrepreneurship and Civic Wealth Creation.”

Man speaking at conference
Peter Roberts, a professor from Emory University, speaks at the Strome College's third transitional entrepreneurship colloquium.

“It was exciting to host the third Kauffman Foundation-sponsored colloquium on transitional entrepreneurship. This colloquium allowed us to showcase the Strome College of Business and ODU’s leadership in research that has societal impact,” Dean Kenneth Kahn said.

Also speaking at the colloquium was Chris Pilkerton, former Small Business Administration acting administrator and general counsel, Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and Executive in Residence at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Pilkerton said he appreciated the opportunity. “The participants highlighted the importance of incorporating this rigorous academic research into the practical solutions implemented by local, state and national policy makers.”

Transitional entrepreneurship focuses on issues facing entrepreneurs from communities that cope with significant adversity in launching ventures and for whom the path involves substantive life transitions. The Strome College colloquium concentrates on veterans, immigrants, refugees, women, historically marginalized groups and economically distressed communities.

Nair cited the support of the senior scholars in entrepreneurship, editors of all top entrepreneurship journals, and ODU faculty, staff and Ph.D. students for the success of the colloquium. He particularly noted the efforts of doctoral candidate Chris H. Willis, for going “above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the program went well”; Tarsha Turner, office and event manager in the Strome College; and Tom Odom, assistant director for event support at the Webb University Center.

“It feels great to know that we can always count on the support of everyone across ODU campus when organizing an event like this,” Nair said.

“I was pleased to see that the colloquium was successful in bringing together participants with diverse expertise and research traditions,” added Austin Agho, provost and vice president for academic affairs at ODU. “The papers, panel sessions and keynotes presented at the colloquium were well aligned with ODU’s mission of enriching the world and communities through research and civic engagement.”

Nair was awarded a $400,000 grant in the fall of 2020 as part of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's Knowledge Challenge initiative, which focuses on "grants that seek to answer questions based on real-world problems facing entrepreneurs and their communities. An emphasis throughout the portfolio includes grants for programs and projects that advance knowledge about entrepreneurship and economic mobility, and support an inclusive pipeline of entrepreneurship researchers," according to the foundation's website.

The grant supports an annual transitional entrepreneurship colloquium at ODU over four years, and entrepreneurship training for veterans, women, high school and middle school students. Additionally, the grant funds training and research stipends for ODU students interested in transitional entrepreneurship.

Above: Jaquetta Graham, a graduate student at Morgan State University, presents at the Strome College of Business' third transitional entrepreneurship colloquium.