CEDAR FALLS, Iowa â€“ Therese Kuster, a University of Northern Iowa senior public relations major from Boone, was named the Young Entrepreneur Council/Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the National CEO Conference Oct. 27-29 in Fort Worth.
The award is presented to a student entrepreneur with a currently active business generating sales revenue. The award is based on an essay and other submitted material such as recommendations and revenue statements.
Kuster won for her business, TargetClick Marketing Solutions. In her essay she discussed starting the business with her partners, Greg Jass, a UNI marketing graduate in May 2011, and Doug Drees. She also discussed the challenges of being a full-time student and business owner.
"Being a student entrepreneur is the most challenging thing I've ever done and it's great to be recognized for all the hard work. It was an honor to be chosen from a group of the nation's top student entrepreneurs," said Kuster.
Katherine Cota-Uyar, associate director of the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, said, "The award reinforces the work of Therese and all the student entrepreneurs in the JPEC programs. The students must balance academics with owning and operating a small business."
Kuster noted the essay was a good way to put her everyday challenges into words. "It made me realize how many other student entrepreneurs face the same challenges and it's encouraging to have met so many people that are going through the same things with their own businesses. My best advice to other entrepreneurs is to accomplish something for your business every single day, and remember that's why you started it in the first place."
The UNI CEO organization is part of UNI Entrepreneurs, a student organization focusing on entrepreneurship and community service. UNI Entrepreneurs is a program of the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, which is a division of UNI's Business and Community Services. The UNI JPEC provides a range of innovative educational programs and support services designed for student entrepreneurs. For more information about JPEC at UNI, visit www.jpec.org, call (319) 273-JPEC (5732) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.