Cheyney student finalist for state business plan award

Julian Dunn. — PHOTO/CHEYNEY

When he named his business Dunn Well Financial for this year’s Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Business Plan Competition, Julian Dunn unknowingly forecasted a successful outcome.

The Cheyney University senior recently received word that he “did well” indeed and was chosen as a semi-finalist among the 62 entries in this year’s PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition.

His business plan focused on a company that will “enhance the lives of people who want to control their finances. Our enrolled agents provide tax preparation services to the Philadelphia metropolitan area.”

The fall competition was open to all 14 PASSHE institutions. This year, there were five students from Cheyney who finished the competition.

This is the third year of the competition. Not only has Cheyney University participated each year but also, its students have been semi-finalists and finalists each year.

As in the real business world, the process requires tenacity, with contestants initiating the process with an “Intent to Compete” form in November. Other deadlines must be met along the way, leading to semi-finalist interviews held in late March.

Dunn worked as a summer intern as a field auditor for the Department of Revenue and trained with H&R Block to become a certified tax preparer.

This semester he is taking CU’s federal income tax course. In the future, he plans to study to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

He proclaims, “I have always been interested in accounting and took a class to learn more.”

Dunn is relaxed about the outcome of the State competition.

“Win, lose or draw, this has been an enlightening experience that allowed us to take our ideas and turn them into opportunities,” he said. “I always knew I wanted to create my own business and work for myself. I took a year off from school and that gave me a chance to learn about the monotony of working for someone else. Entrepreneurship just fits my lifestyle and character.”

Dunn received support in the development of his business plan from the Cheyney University Entrepreneurial Leadership Center (ELC).

A part of the Economic and Workforce Development Center at Cheyney, the ELC started in 2008 with a grant from PASSHE. Subsequent funding through the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program (Title III) and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) the center is now fully equipped with state-of-the art technology resources, a lending library, and a full time project coordinator.

The center brings successful entrepreneurs to campus each year through its lectures series.

Julian and the other Cheyney participants in the competition worked one-to-one with mentors from the Chester County SCORE program.

The winners of this year’s competition will be announced on April 21 at the PASSHE Student Business Plan Competition Awards Ceremony to be held at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey Pennsylvania.


— Source: Cheyeny University

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