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Leisha Sigler, '12

Location: Kokomo, Indiana

Company: Pals for Paws

Position: Founder/Clinic Director

About Your Company: Pals for Paws was established in 2000 as a no-kill animal rescue and our mission is to reduce the number of euthanized animals each year. Each year we go to high-kill animal shelters and rescue around 1,000 animals. We started two dog parks in Kokomo and are working hard each day to make the animals have a better life. We are now raising funds to open a low-cost spay/neuter clinic which will provide community members and local shelter and rescues with the option of affordable veterinarian care.

How do you define entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is passion. It is following your dreams and risking everything in order to see your dreams come true. It is finding a solution to a problem and doing the research and work to determine if you have a new business idea. Entrepreneurship is seeing things in a different way. In my organization we knew that something else needed to be done in order to reduce pet overpopulation so we are starting the spay/neuter clinic. Pals for Paws is already established but the problem of animals being euthanized hasn't gone away in 12 years so a new business idea has emerged to bring a solution to the problem.

How did the entrepreneurship program at Ball State help you obtain your current position?

The Ball State Entrepreneurship Center is the main reason why I am living my dream right now. They provided me the knowledge, networking opportunities and focus to put together a business plan and be prepared to start my business after graduation. Since the class sizes are smaller I got a lot of individual attention and help. The staff was always available to talk and help think through a new idea or problem. I was able to go to school and take classes that interested me and helped me create my future. They sent me on trips around the country which allowed me to conduct research and meet new people. I am forever grateful for what the Entrepreneurship Center has given me!

What is your greatest memory of the entrepreneurship program at Ball State?

My greatest memory of the Entrepreneurship Program is all of the people I met and friends I made. Everyone genuinely wants you to succeed and help make your dreams come true. You become very close with everyone since it is such a small, tight group. I loved coming in at 3am to work on my business plan and would see my classmates there working hard to find that one number or fact they needed. I met so many different people through a variety of networking opportunities that life long connections have been made and I now have people I can call to when I need help in the future!