ASU aiming to inspire entrepreneurship

by Natalie Brand
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TEMPE, Ariz. — Margaret Dunn’s love of trolleys dates back 30 years to when she took a job as a driver to help pay for her schooling at Arizona State University.

“The part-time job became what my lifetime passion has been,” Dunn told 3TV.

The wheels started turning while she was still a student and they never stopped.

“I learned little by little, and I kept on liking it more and more,” she said.

At age 21, she launched her business with one trolley and one employee. Since then, her passion project has grown into Dunn Transportation, which employs 65 people across a 33-vehicle fleet.

You may know her company by its division, Ollie the Trolley, which can be seen driving through the streets of Scottsdale. However, her trolleys run Valleywide with plans to expand in the future.

“Being an entrepreneur, it’s pretty much you live it, you breathe it, you love it,” Dunn said while taking 3TV on quick trolley ride through Tempe. “Where America’s heart beats is with entrepreneurs and small businesses and people that are very passionate.”

It’s the belief behind the Center for Entrepreneurship at W.P. Carey School of Business.

“There is this desire to be entrepreneurial, and to make an impact and to solve problems,” said Sidnee Peck, director of entrepreneurial initiatives.

The school recently started a Business Entrepreneurship major, which enrolled 121 students in its first year offered.

The center has made an effort to launch new initiatives and opportunities for students to collaborate and interact with successful business leaders established in the Valley.

Peck said, “When all of this networking is happening in Arizona, that’s keeping bright students here to continue working at exciting, innovative companies or maybe starting their own.

“There is a really strong ecosystem of folks who want to both mentor and fund these businesses that students are creating. The more that plant here in the state then there’s more wealth created in the state, which in turn can invest in future student business.”

Peck said the goal is to keep talent in Arizona and celebrate the success of entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.

“Always look at the glass half full,” Dunn advised. “Look for opportunities that maybe you can create.”