Management alums establish Pereira Entrepreneurship Award

Faculty of Management alumni Anil Pereira (BMgt ’87) and Sheryl (Turnbull) Pereira (BMgt ’87) have established an endowment fund to support a new scholarship at the University of Lethbridge – the Pereira Entrepreneurship Award.

This is the second scholarship fund that the Pereiras have established at their alma mater.

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded annually and is aimed at high school applicants to the University of Lethbridge who have been admitted to the Faculty of Management and who have exhibited high academic achievement. The recipient of the scholarship will have been previously involved in entrepreneurial activities (such as Junior Achievement, Canadian Youth Business Foundation, 4-H or self-directed initiatives) with an aptitude to further those interests through their studies at the U of L.

“Sheri and I have very fond memories of our time at the U of L since that is where we met and where we set the foundation for our future careers,” says Anil Pereira, currently on campus in his role as the Faculty of Management’s inaugural Executive in Residence. “During the time I have spent on campus this year, it’s clear that there is tremendous interest from many students in establishing entrepreneurial careers.  Having spent the past 15 years working on entrepreneurial ventures myself, this scholarship seemed like the perfect way for us to help ignite and support the entrepreneurial spirit among the next generation of Faculty of Management graduates.”

Pereira and U of L President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon, recently met with Dave Hancock, then Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education to speak about the University's drive to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.

Anil Pereira is a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and marketing executive with more than 20 years of hands-on experience at both start-up companies and global corporations. He is the founder and executive chairman of Verious and an advisor to a number of high-profile high technology startups. Earlier in his career he was an executive at leading companies including American Express and VeriSign. He graduated from the Faculty of Management in 1987 and was named the University’s Alumnus of the Year in 2000. He is currently serving as the Faculty of Management’s inaugural Executive in Residence for 2013-2014. Anil also holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Entrepreneurship is about taking risks. It’s about creating a vision for a business from scratch. It’s about following your own path and inspiring those around you to work their hardest to make a small, growing business succeed,” says Pereira. “Sheri and I see a lot of those qualities in students at the U of L and hope that this award helps in some small way to attract even more entrepreneurially-minded students to the Faculty of Management.”

This is the second scholarship fund that the Pereiras have established at their alma mater. The first (Derrick and Lytta Pereira Management Prize) was put into place by Anil in 1987. The scholarship fund was later endowed by the Pereiras to fund an annual award for a deserving student in the Faculty of Management’s MSc program.

“Looking back, it seems a bit funny that I started a scholarship right after graduating from the U of L, when we ourselves didn’t really have much in terms of financial resources – and that ’s putting it mildly!” says Pereira. “However, both of us were recipients of scholarships while at the University and my parents were very supportive of my education. I felt an obligation from day one to pay some of that support back.”

With the establishment of the new Pereira Entrepreneurship Award, the Pereiras are seeking to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of students in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge for years to come.

Applicants for the Pereira Entrepreneurship Award are required to submit a 500-word essay that discusses their interest in entrepreneurship as well as the entrepreneurial activities they have been involved with or wish to undertake moving forward. Also required is a letter of recommendation from someone involved with the entrepreneurial activity.