by Mataeo Smith
Sigma Nu Tau was created in SUNY Plattsburgh 2009 from a desire to honor those students embarking into the world of entrepreneurship. Eleven years later, 35 campuses have joined and continue to offer support to the scarce major.
The Honor Society was created in 2009. At the time, Former President & Executive Director of the Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society Nancy Church was the chair of the marketing and entrepreneurship department. While there was an honor society for SUNY Plattsburgh marketing majors, there was not one for entrepreneurship students. Church’s attempts to find an existing honor society for entrepreneurship students to no avail, so she decided to start a new honor society. In May 2009, the marketing and entrepreneurship department conducted its first members of Sigma Nu Tau.
“We wanted them to have their own Honor Society. Entrepreneurship is really growing,” Church said. “A number of programs offering entrepreneurship are really growing in the US. So we figured other schools might be interested in this as well.”
When it started the first year, it was called the “Entrepreneurship Honor Society” and was available only to SUNY Plattsburgh students. Church and the rest of her department decided early on to offer chapters to other schools which forced them to “really step up.” accordin to Church. The first step was to get approval from the college. A $1,000 grant that was utuilize to print brochures and buy lapel pins along with honor cords was obtained after hiring a lawyer whose objective was to assist the department in finding financial support.
In 2011, the department was able to apply for and get 501C3 nonprofit status from the IRS, which makes it so those who make donations to Sigma Nu Tau, can take a tax deduction making Sigma Nu Tau a full non-profit organization in New York State.
The marketing and entrepreneurship department created brochures and application forms and a website. The first two schools chartered were Kent State University in Ohio and Belmont University, in Nashville.
“So, when you charter a chapter, that means they invite their own students into Sigma Nu tau,” Church said. “They stand out very strongly in my mind for being the two that wanted to be first among the chapters.”
The first thing Church did after expanding the honor society, was organize the Student Entrepreneur of the Year program which selected one student as part of Sigma Nu Tau to Honor. Students from any school affiliated with the honor society had to apply and explain their entrepreneurship activities throughout the year. Sigma Nu Tau’s goal is to create a network of student entrepreneurs willing to guide each other through the uncertainty of the profession.
Senior Sigma Nu Tau Intern Peter Puglia receives a lot of hands-on experience from the honor society. He said it really exposes him to the business side of entrepreneurship which he finds valuable for his adult life.
Puglia said he’s always doing podcasts, videos or applying for another scholarship. He beleivs Sigma Nu Tau is an, “excellent tool for the major.”
Sigma Nu Tau will continue to expand and aid entreprenuership majors through their carreer of starting from scrtach