ELSEWORKS is the entrepreneurship program of the Else School of Management at Millsaps College whose goal is to create positive social change in Mississippi and to grow the creative assets of our state to promote economic development. ELSEWORKS functions similarly to prestigious business consultancy firms but is staffed by graduate business students who work with various businesses to help them solve problems and grow. 

    Referred to as Business Analysts, they work under the direction of the ELSEWORKS faculty team of Dr. David Culpepper, Dr. Blakely Fender, Dr. Ray Grubbs, and Dr. Penelope Prenshaw. Paul Thomas, Director of Business Analysts, facilitates the day-to-day work of the business analysts. 

    While ELSEWORKS has supported various entrepreneurial endeavors in the state, the primary focus of ELSEWORKS has been “across the street” from the campus in the Midtown community.  Almost nine years have passed since Millsaps College received its initial grant from the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation to build the creative economy in Midtown, and ELSEWORKS in partnership with Midtown Partners began work with business owners, residents, and partners in the neighborhood. Our work provides experiential learning opportunities while giving students a way to actively and purposefully engage with and influence our local community through strategic partnerships. 

  • "We believe in placing our students in a position to have meaningful input into high-level decisions that have very real and potentially success-altering consequences. They learn to embrace diversity, risk, and important challenges-thus, how to be a leader. Meanwhile, the revitalization of the Midtown area improves the quality of life for those in Midtown and for our students."


    Dr. David Culpepper | ELSEWORKS Chair, Prof. of Accounting & Entrepreneurship

  • What We Do


    Student business analysts assist in the development, implementation, and management of businesses as a part of a larger project to grow the creative economy in Jackson’s Midtown neighborhood. Their work as analysts, helping businesses with accounting, financial, marketing, production and planning provides them with vital experience in tackling real-world issues and seeing actual outcomes that maximize benefits for burgeoning businesses. Our students are intimately involved with and witness first-hand the successes and failures of businesses. In the process, our students learn not only leadership and reasoning skills but also entrepreneurial expertise including the linkage between economic development and community engagement at a grassroots level. A stimulating supplement to classroom study, students in the program can leverage the unique organizational structure to apply the tactical business theories they are studying in the Else School of Management to a real business, and bridge the gap between the theoretical and practical.


    The Midtown neighborhood completed a master planning process in 2010, which resulted in a comprehensive revitalization plan for Midtown’s growth. Business planning and entrepreneurship assistance were identified by both residents and businesses as a need. ELSEWORKS provides key direction and oversight of Midtown’s economic development by leveraging the creative assets located in the community to drive economic development in the Midtown neighborhood. A focal point of ELSEWORKS’s impact is the Hub Midtown, a business development center that drives entrepreneurship in Midtown by housing and equipping start-up businesses. Composed of two buildings owned by Midtown Partners, the Hatch and the Hanger and located in the heart of the Millsaps Arts District, the Hub offers tenants affordable overhead, customized business assistance and opportunities for business outreach and exposure. Our analysts hold office hours in the Hatch and offer support to Hub tenants and the community at large.


    ELSEWORKS faculty and student analysts provides services that support and connect Midtown business owners on a larger scale through the Business Association of Midtown (BAM). BAM's mission is to promote business formation, collaboration, and expansion, enhance goodwill between businesses and residents, and provide unified advocacy. In cooperation with BAM, the Midtown Neighborhood Association, and Midtown Partners, ELSEWORKS has focused on growing the artistic and community infrastructure in Midtown through the establishment of gathering spaces. One such space, a coffee shop and used bookstore opened in 2018 and an art park and beer garden opened in 2021 – these developments specifically designed with the goal to connect residents, artists, and other members of the community. Working in partnership with Midtown Partners, whose mission is to create a vibrant, healthy, sustainable community in which to live, work, and raise families, ELSEWORKS is committed to this key community in our state’s capital city. There is no location better primed for entrepreneurship, and there is no better team equipped to help drive entrepreneurship in Midtown than its next-door neighbors and long-time partners at Millsaps College.