December 1, 2015 at 1:00pm

Defining an Entrepreneur

Julie Shields

Julie Shields, director of Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship, was recently featured in the Business Journal of Midcentral Illinois sharing her thoughts on community involvement and her take on the small business climate.

Shields was named director of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship in July 2015 following the retirement of Sharon T. Alpi, founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Shields obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Classics from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and her MBA from Millikin University. Prior to joining Millikin, she spent 11 years in the information technology industry during which time she worked for Nims Associates, Inc. and owned two technology start-up businesses: Open Integration Incorporated which shared intellectual property with the University of Illinois, and InVivo Ventures, LLC.

In terms of defining an entrepreneur, Shields says it is "someone who can recognize opportunity and lead an endeavor to both create and capture value in the marketplace. Owning a business might be one way to create and capture value, but it can also be created and captured as a social impact venture or within an existing corporation."

Shields was the extended learning coordinator for Decatur Public School District #61, creating and implementing innovative, experiential summer learning programs and after-school programs. In 2013, she joined Millikin University's faculty and in the spirit of Millikin's commitment to Performance Learning, led the Arts and Entrepreneurship Program including the Blue Connection retail art gallery learning laboratory.

"I've been involved with so many contract negotiations, sales presentations, tactical teams, strategic planning sessions, brand development and proposals," Shields says. "All these things and more are hallmarks of entrepreneurship."

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University is an essential component of Millikin's commitment to Performance Learning. The Center is a dedicated resource for entrepreneurs at every level serving Millikin faculty and students, youth (ranging in age from elementary to high school level), community, and local businesses through a variety of programs and development opportunities.

Click here to read more about Julie Shields and the Center for Entrepreneurship's impact on the local community in an article from the Business Journal of Midcentral Illinois.