The office of grant programs publishes a quarterly spotlight recognizing excellence in grant development by a Barry University employee titled The Grant Seeker. This issue profiles the longtime professional collaboration of Dr. Philip Mann and Rose Marie McClung, Director and Associate Director, respectively, of the BICED’s Entrepreneurial Institute. The pair has spent their careers working to improve the capacity of South Florida’s underserved populations to create and sustain small businesses. When I interviewed Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung, it was immediately apparent how in step they are, often finishing each other’s sentences or teaming up to tell a story. They are friends, colleagues, collaborators and trailblazers in the arena of local economic development.
The Entrepreneurial Institute, along with its founders Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung, enjoyed incarnations at a number of local universities, including the University of Miami, Florida International University and Florida Memorial University before arriving at Barry University three years ago. For the fiscal year 2011, as a result of the diligent efforts of Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung to train small business owners and create jobs within the community, the Miami-Dade County Department of Housing and Community Development awarded Barry’s Entrepreneurial Institute a grant of $122,000. Mercantil Commerce bank supplemented the grant with an additional gift of $17,000. In only three years at Barry, the pair have been awarded over $400,000 in grant funding and created more than 33 jobs for low- and moderate-income unemployed individuals.
The Institute was founded in response to a dire community need for new business development in Miami following a civil disturbance in 1980. In the early morning hours of December 17, 1979, five Miami-Dade County police officers pursued 33-year-old Arthur McDuffie who was speeding at over 80 MPH on a Kawasaki motorcycle through a residential neighborhood. The high-speed chase culminated with an unprovoked beating resulting in the death of Mr. McDuffie. Following the May 1980 trial that acquitted all five officers, violent riots broke out in the streets of Liberty City and 300 businesses were burned to the ground. Then President of the University of Miami, Edward T. Foote II, asked Dr. Mann to “see if there is anything we can do.” The directive was clear, recalls Dr. Mann: “find out what we can do to bridge the gap between potential entrepreneurs from the inner city and the ‘tall building people’,” a term coined by the inner city population to describe executives and large business owners. And, thus was born the Entrepreneurial Institute.
Services provided by Barry’s Entrepreneurial Institute include one-on-one business counseling, technical assistance and concept development. One day per week Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung provide no cost technical assistance at one of three sites within the community (Opa-Locka, Liberty City, and South Miami). Hundreds of individuals also come to the Barry University campus office.
Dr. Mann’s and Ms. McClung’s successes administering the Entrepreneurial Institute have encouraged them to take on new projects within the South Florida community. Most notably, they designed a business training program for female prisoners at the Broward Correctional Institution on how to find and keep a job in a difficult economy, manage budgets, and start a small business.
If you are interested in starting a business, Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung would surely encourage you to attend one of their on-campus or community-based trainings. Or, you might consider simply stopping by the Landon Student Union around lunchtime. It is there that you will find Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung, longtime friends and collaborators, seated at a table on the south side of the Roussell Dining Hall enjoying their lunch together.
Dr. Tomislav Mandakovic, Dean of the Andreas School of Business, may have captured the essence of Dr. Mann and Ms. McClung best when he said, “Ms. McClung and Dr. Mann’s generous efforts to help challenged social and/or economic social groups set an example and provide a lasting benefit for our students, our faculty and, in general the Barry community.”