Stephen W. Gibson in an entrepreneurial legend, philanthropist, and educator. The Stephen W. Gibson Entrepreneurial Scholarship was created in 1994 to benefit entrepreneur students at Utah Valley University.
Gibson has created or funded more than a dozen entrepreneurial businesses including Barclays Oxygen Homecare, which was named one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the United States. He is the first investor in 1-800-Contacts, Omniture, and Ancestry.
Gibson co-founded the investor group Utah Angels, which has provided well over $20 million in financing to Utah entrepreneurs.
He has authored 150 articles on entrepreneurial topics published in Deseret News and has received the Small Business Administration Award for Utah Media of the Year.
Gibson is also heavily involved with microenterprise for the poor. He and his wife, Bette, founded the Academy for Creating Enterprise, which teaches microenterprise development among Latter-day Saint returned missionaries. Their effort originated in 1999 when they moved to the Philippines. “We had made a list of 25 things we could do to serve. On the list was to mentor people. Another was to teach. And to help returned missionaries. And to do it internationally. I’d gone to the Philippines four times with Enterprise Mentors, but we wanted to do something different. We couldn’t get sponsors. So we just did it. We loved the people, knew they spoke English, and knew they had a great need.”
Nearly 1,500 returned missionaries have been trained in the Academy curriculum in the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, all South American countries, and other countries including Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Benin in Africa. The Gibsons are the recipients of the 2016 BYU Emeriti Distinguished Service Award for their efforts.
The Academy donated a license to the Church of Jesus Christ to use in its curriculum for the Self Reliance beginnings some years ago and was named a strategic partner with the Self-Reliance program.
He has taught entrepreneurship as a full-time Brigham Young University faculty for the Marriott School of Business in Provo, Utah. He retired in 2011. He is on the advisory board of the BYU Marriott School of Business as an Entrepreneurship Founder. He also taught briefly at BYU-Hawaii.