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APSU plays role in Clarksville growing as among top cities in which to launch a business

Dr. John Volker, professor of management at Austin Peay State University, was not surprised by the announcement last week that Clarksville was one of the best cities in which to start a business.

Many of us knew that already, he said. The entrepreneurial spirit and energy of Clarksvilles residents is evident throughout the city.
Dr. John Volker, professor of management at Austin Peay State University, was not surprised by the announcement last week that Clarksville was one of the best cities in which to start a business.

“Many of us knew that already,” he said. “The entrepreneurial spirit and energy of Clarksville's residents is evident throughout the city.”

On Oct. 13, CNN Money named Clarksville as one of the top 50 cities in America in which to launch a business. The list was a compilation of large, midsized and small metro cities. Clarksville was No. 4 in the "mid-sized" category (and No. 14 in the order as presented online).

In profiling Clarksville, CNN Money also credited the presence of APSU with helping the city to develop in entrepreneurship.

“Fortunately, aspiring entrepreneurs have several opportunities to learn about business through APSU and the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce,” said Dr. Carmen Reagan, interim dean of the APSU College of Business and professor of marketing who has served as board president of both the local Chamber of Commerce and Gateway Medical Center.

Reagan also lauded the work of faculty members in the College of Business and explained how they work with their students and the community.

“Several of our faculty members publish and present papers on different aspects of entrepreneurship, serve as consultants to prospective and existing owners and engage their students in special class projects for business and social entrepreneurship initiatives,” she said.

In addition, APSU's Tennessee Small Business Development Center located on the main campus offers one-on-one consultation and workshops to help prospective business owners.

Volker said that he anticipates greater development for current and future business leaders, especially with the addition of the upcoming Hemlock Semiconductor plant.

“I envision many small firms developing in support of the green industry, and their energy in turn will provide opportunities for other business to grow and develop,” he said.

In addition, Clarksville's continuing focus on cultural opportunities will help foster the business climate, Volker said.

“Clarksville has a vibrant and growing creative community as evidenced by its art, music and theater activities. Creativity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand,” he said.

To see Clarksville's profile on CNN Money, visit http://money.cnn.com/smallbusiness/best_places_launch/2009/snapshot/67.html. -- Melony Shemberger