MSE student to compete in regional business plan competition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sam McPherson, a student in the Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Program at the Hough Graduate School of Business, will represent the University of Florida at the NetImpact-Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge regional event at Emory University on Friday.

The competition “provides a forum for students to take their idea for a sustainable product or business solution and make that idea a reality.” It encourages college students to develop entrepreneurial ventures that incorporate social, environmental and economic sustainability.

McPherson qualified for regionals after winning UF’s NetImpact-Walmart Sustainability Better Living Business Plan Challenge in February. McPherson’s winning submission was Reciprocity, an educational one- for-one company that provides school supplies and scholarships to students in need.

For every USA-made, sustainably-sourced backpack purchased from Reciprocity, the company donates $10 to students and schools in low-income communities, both in the US and in developing countries. Customers can choose the location of the community they want the money to go, including school supplies, teacher training, scholarships and more. Regional winners advance to the national competition in April where they will present their business plans to Walmart executives, venture capitalists, and investors at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. UF’s competition was sponsored by the Warrington College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and its Innovative Sustainability & Social Impact Initiative—coordinated by Dr. Kristin Joos— along with UF’s Office of Sustainability Assistant Director Stephanie Sims and the UF Chapter of