Student Ventures Program
It's not just learning the ropes. It's a road map to successful entrepreneurship.
Albion College, through support from the Carl A. Gerstacker Insitute for Business and Management, is providing students the opportunity to start and run their own businesses with real income potential. With guidance from faculty and staff, the Student Ventures Program offers a platform for any Albion student to prepare a business plan and follow through with it all the way to launch, and the day-to-day operations afterward.
Beyond revenue and income possibilities, students are finding that they're netting a lot more: real entrepreneurial experience that jumps out on a résumé.
Three students below describe their experiences with the program:
Dennis Duncan, '13
Venture: Macho Taco
What is it? A taqueria located on the upper level of Baldwin Hall.
"I always wanted to be my own boss. Servicing Macho Taco teaches me how to be an owner, how to manage staff, income, and inventory. It will teach me everything I need to know to manage a restaurant on my own so when I establish the net worth to buy a franchise, I will have an idea how to facilitate operations.
"There was a lot of late-night thinking and market research. I had to pinpoint a pricing strategy that would make sense. Chef Jason at Bon Appetit [Albion College's Dining Services partner] became a mentor, and ... the most important answer I received was the importance of having faith in your business. I took something that was a thought in my mind—that became a couple of paragraphs on a piece of paper—and made it a dream come true for myself. Any vision you write out that you get to see with your own eyes is a triumph."
Jessica DeWaters, '13
Venture: The Dreamery
What is it? A cupcake bar located adjacent to the Eat Shop in the Kellogg Center; customers choose the cakes, fillings, frostings and toppings.
"I've always wanted to own a bakery, so this is a trial run for me and it allows me to test some ideas. I'm able to put the numbers [I used for the business plan] to use and see how close my estimates were. I am learning what to change in the future. Albion College is giving me the chance to run a business without all of the [financial] risks and to be able to learn along the way."
Mitchell Jeffery, '14
Venture: Legacy Line
What is it? A retailer selling Greek apparel, accessories, and merchandise; located on the main level of Baldwin Hall.
"Legacy Line started as a class assignment while I was in Philadelphia this past semester. During my semester in Philadelphia I had an internship with Korn/Ferry International while taking two classes, Power and Authority and Entrepreneurship. In my Entrepreneurship class the overall assignment was to create a small business. Naturally, that meant we had to include items like a business plan, name, marketing plan, and website.
"Since I was familiar with the Student Venture Program I decided to think about Albion’s largest target audiences and the needs of those audiences. Being in a fraternity myself I remembered back to my freshman year when I was looking for Delta Tau Delta apparel and either had to order online or travel to East Lansing. Given this thought I began to create a business that would aim at giving the members of the Greek system a place to buy Greek merchandise. After gaining approval to move through stage one, then stage two and three, I was finally awarded the funding and support of the Student Venture Committee—and thus Legacy Line was born."
Contact the Gerstacker Institute for more information about the Student Ventures Program.