Joe Patton New Venture Business Plan Award

The Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business is pleased to honor entrepreneur Joe Patton through the Joe Patton New Venture Business Plan Competition. 

Designed to recognize Joseph Patton’s life as a businessman, entrepreneur and community servant, this competition - sponsored by the Joe Patton Trust and Jan White - is geared toward La Sierra University students interested in starting their own businesses.

Each plan will be judged based on its creativity, its organization, and on its possession of other characteristics likely to make it attractive to potential funding sources. A grant of $5,000 is awarded each year to the best business plan submitted. 

Application Deadline April 30 at 5:00 P.M.

Students are encouraged to obtain feedback from faculty, utilize all resources available to them in the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, and begin preparation for this competitive award process early in the year.

In the words of one of Joe Patton’s favorite quotes from the poet Maya Angelou, "Ain't nothin' to it but to do it."

Eligibility Requirements

  • Each person submitting a business plan must be a full-time La Sierra University student who has completed a minimum of 90 quarter-hour credits; or must have graduated no more than three months prior to the date the award is presented.
  • Each applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0
  • Each applicant must be a member in good standing of the La Sierra University Enactus (SIFE) Team.
  • Each applicant must currently be involved in some form of community service.
  • A submitted business plan must be for a start-up business only - not for an existing business.

Recommended Resources


Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

  • Build Your Business Plan - a free tool with a step-by-step guide to start your business plan. Even save and update your plan as you develop it at your own pace.
  • SBA Learning Center - free short training courses and videos for entrepreneurs. Learn about crowdfunding, accounting, marketing, business planning, and more.


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. They are also a great resource for free business planning tools and templates.

FastCompany is an excellent resources for entrepreneurs, creatives, designers, and other interested in the current and cutting-edge in the world of business and innovation.


Entrepreneur Magazine and provide useful content, tips, and free resources for entrepreneurs.

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