The Entrepreneurs and Economics speaker series features dynamic thought leaders and practitioners who share their diverse experiences with the Ball State University campus and greater Muncie community. Attendees will gain key insights about living a fulfilling entrepreneurial life from social, high-growth, non-profit, and corporate entrepreneurs, as well as economists.

All events are free and open to the public.

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute presents:

Henry Gund Professor or Economics; Chair, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Berry College

Sports Tourism in Indianapolis: The Effect of Football, Basketball, & Auto Races on Hotel Occupancy

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 - 4:15 PM

Topic ~ Promoters claim sports franchises and events generate large economic benefits for their host cities, yet most economists think evidence for such claims is lacking. This presentation uses hotel occupancy data to examine the effects of various sports events in Indianapolis and to explain why sports boosters and economists often arrive at different conclusions about the benefit of hosting sports events.



Why Africans Risk Death to Reach Europe and What Can Be Done to Create African Prosperity?

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018 - 5:30 PM

Topic ~ Africa remains the lowest income region in the world with massive youth unemployment. Young people die at sea trying to reach Europe, and now we are seeing slave markets in Libya. Why is Africa stricken with poverty? In addition to weak property rights and rule of law, African entrepreneurs face more red tape than do entrepreneurs in any other region. If African economies are liberated so that African entrepreneurs can create great companies, we can end emigration and modern slavery in Africa - while developing brilliant goods and services that will allow Africans greater dignity as well as prosperity.


About the Speaker:

Magatte Wade creates sophisticated consumer brands that change the perception of Africa while creating jobs and education on the ground in Africa. Magatte’s first company, Adina World Beverages, brought Senegalese Bissap to U.S. consumers through Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and United Natural Foods, Inc. Her second company, Tiossan, brought Senegalese skin care recipes to U.S. consumers through Nordstrom’s and boutique beauty retailers. She just launched a third consumer brand in the U.S., Skin is Skin (, a social impact enterprise that donates 50% of its profits to fight discrimination.

Based on her experiences creating consumer brands and building agricultural and manufacturing capacity in Senegal, Magatte has spoken at dozens of universities including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, etc. As well as at global conferences on innovation and economic development in France, Dubai, Guatemala, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Gabon, Senegal, and more. She writes for the Huffington Post, Barron’s, and the U.K. Guardian. She is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum at Davos and has appeared on the cover of Forbes Afrique. She was also named one of the “Twenty Young Power Women of Africa” by Forbes U.S.

Ball State University
Institute for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise

Fostering Human Ingenuity: A Two Decade Journey in Entrepreneurship and Leadership

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2018 - 5:30 PM

Topic ~ Entrepreneurship education grounded in purpose and principles allows human ingenuity to thrive in a higher education setting. This talk will examine questions such as: How do you best encourage entrepreneurial spirit? Can worlds of chaotic innovation and pragmatic order coexist? How do you grow the entrepreneurial mindset in all facets of higher education? Based on two decades in the field at Ball State University and in his own ventures, Dr. Mathews will cover best practices in entrepreneurship education, connecting diverse talents and perspectives across campus, social and corporate entrepreneurship, and leadership development.


About the Speaker:

Rob Mathews, EdD, PIA, is the Director, Operations Manager, and Instructor for the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. He mentored students in the Entrepreneurship Center for 17 years prior to the launch of the Institute.

Purdue University

From Airbnd to Solar: How Digital Technology & Platforms are Transforming the Electricity Industry

tuesday, february 13, 2018 - 4:15 pm
ball state university - aj 175

Topic ~ Electricity distribution is one of the largest, and most heavily regulated, industries in the economy. The digital revolution of the past two decades is upending both the regulated utility business model and the arguments for existing regulation. The combination of digital technologies, innovations in energy technologies like solar, and changes in regulation and the business model is likely to bring about a cleaner and prosperous future, and economics helps us understand why.

About the Speaker:

Lynne Kiesling is a Visiting Associate Professor in Economics at Purdue University, and the Associate Director of the Purdue University Research Center in Economics.  She was recently an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University, where she was also a Faculty Affiliate and Director of the Electricity Policy Program in the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth.

Lynne is the author or co-author of many academic journal articles, book chapters, policy studies, and public interest comments, most of which analyze electricity policy and market design issues relating to regulation and technological change. Her publications include Deregulation, Innovation, and Market Liberalization: Electricity Regulation in a Continually Evolving Environment (Routledge, 2008). Her specialization is industrial organization, regulatory policy and market design in the electricity industry. In particular, she examines the interaction of market design and innovation in the development of retail markets, products and services and the economics of “smart grid” technologies.

M. Scott Lilly

M. Scott Lilly
Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Innovation is Great, the Entrepreneurial Mindset is Better

Thursday, january 25, 2018 - 5:30 pm
ball state university - aj 175

Topic ~ In 2010, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a national non-profit, was facing a crisis. In a down-trending economy, new government funding policies challenged the TMCF leadership to find a different strategy. Taking a “no money, no mission” approach and identifying talent with an entrepreneurial mindset led TMCF to become a thriving business, which happens to be a non-profit.

About the Speaker:
M. Scott Lilly is the President of the Opportunity Funding Corporation and Chief Programs Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in Washington, DC. He joined TMCF in 2010 and is responsible for the overall direction of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program under TMCF’s OFC division and oversees TMCF’s scholarship, career readiness, research, student and faculty programs. He is also responsible for the overall execution and project management of the Apple and TMCF HBCU Diversity Initiative.

Prior to joining TMCF, Scott was the Director of Business Planning and Operations for IAC’s programming business unit, and served as Associate Director, Talent Management and Development for IAC, the parent company to Before joining IAC, he spent five years with Lincoln Harris, a full service commercial real estate firm, as a leasing broker on the Bank of America account in Charlotte, NC. 

Scott received a full athletic scholarship to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and earned his Bachelor of Science Real Estate and Urban Land Development. In his spare time he enjoys practicing yoga (hot, Bikram, vinyasa, yin), reading magazines, and traveling. When Scott grows up he plans to have a basketball and leadership academy for young boys.