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Gigot Center receives $100,000 from Nasdaq Educational Foundation

by Dennis Brown

January 25, 2006

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The Nasdaq Stock Market Educational Foundation Inc. has created a $100,000 endowment at the University of Notre Dame in support of the annual business plan competitions sponsored by the University’s Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

The Nasdaq Educational Foundation Endowment for Excellence will be directed toward the development of a training and networking program for participants in the Gigot Center’s McCloskey Business Plan Competition and Social Venture Plan Competition.  

“We are most appreciative of this generous award, which will allow the managers of our competitions to develop a comprehensive program that will help all participants design better business plans,” said James Davis, Ray and Milann Siegfried Director of the Gigot Center.

The new program will provide formal training to participants in the University’s two competitions, with the objective of leveling the playing field between individuals with varying degrees of business education. It also is expected that the program will help increase both the quality and quantity of business plan submissions.

“Above all, this program will aid in the competitions’ educational mission,” Davis said. “By providing improved training and networking sessions, it is more likely that people with backgrounds in other disciplines – such as theology, physics or peace studies – will enter the competitions.”

“Nasdaq has long been identified with entrepreneurialism and innovation,” said Joan Conley, Corporate Secretary of The Nasdaq Stock Market and The Nasdaq Educational Foundation. “Innovation and new business ideas cannot be brought to fruition without a solid business plan. We are delighted to provide the type of training that will support the creation of new ideas and new companies.”

The Nasdaq Stock Market Educational Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is engaged in promoting innovative thinking and learning about the role of capital formation and financial markets in a free-enterprise system. Its goals are to further financial markets literacy, and to foster entrepreneurialism and innovation and interest in financial careers. The Foundation is fully funded by The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. and awards approximately $2 million in grants annually to universities and educational nonprofit organizations.

The McCloskey Notre Dame Business Plan Competition is open to new ventures that have not yet been launched or are in their earliest stages. The Social Venture Plan Competition is open to business initiatives that have a social mission or purpose.

Each individual or team entry in the events must include participation by at least one full-time Notre Dame student or a graduate of the University. Finalists in the 2006 competitions will make their presentations April 21, and announcement of the winning entries will be made that day in ceremonies at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Contact: Bethany Sherman, Nasdaq, 212-401-8714 or bethany.sherman@nasdaq.com

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