Western Carolina University
 
 
 

WCU ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDENTS DONATE PROCEEDS
FROM CLASS PROJECTS TO REACH OF JACKSON COUNTY

Image: Western Carolina University students Liz Goettee, Blair Dorsey, Michael DeSarno and Ben Thedieck (from left to right) present a rap CD that was produced, marketed and sold as part of an entrepreneurship class.   Image: Frank Lockwood
Western Carolina University students Liz Goettee, Blair Dorsey, Michael DeSarno and Ben Thedieck (from left to right) present a rap CD that was produced, marketed and sold as part of an entrepreneurship class.
 
Frank Lockwood, assistant professor of entrepreneurship.
     

Western Carolina University students in Frank Lockwood’s introduction to entrepreneurship class called in an urgent progress report from peddling products on the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn.

“They were hooting and yelling that they sold $115 worth of earrings at $5 a pair,” said Lockwood, assistant professor of entrepreneurship. “Think how empowering that experience was for young women who are entering a world today where half of the new businesses are started by women.”

The semester-long hands-on entrepreneurship class involving product development and sales culminated Thursday as students made presentations and agreed to donate their profits to a community service organization.

Representatives from REACH of Jackson County, which combats domestic violence and sexual assault with services such as an emergency shelter and legal assistance, will receive a check for nearly $1,000.

“I want to say a special thank you,” said Sandy Frazier, director of development for REACH. “We are dependent more and more on our local community for financial support, and things like this help us out immensely, especially with our emergency programs.”

Lockwood’s students divided into teams, chose products to sell, researched those items, made demonstration items and then actually manufactured and sold their products. They wrote business, marketing and financing plans and designed Web sites for their mini-companies.

The students’ creations included slap bracelets, toilet seat covers, parking spaces and bumper stickers. One group created and sold about 50 copies of a student’s rap music CD. The group’s $111 investment yielded about $250 in revenue.

“We sold most in-person,” said Blair Dorsey, a student who took the entrepreneurship course to help her prepare for an interior design career. “People heard about them through word-of-mouth.”

Lockwood said the best way for students to learn to run a small business is to do it – to practice accounting, finance, management, marketing and working as a team as they did for this class project. Donating profits, too, is part of the class.

“One of the basic business principles we instill in our entrepreneurial students is community service,” Lockwood said. “By ‘investing’ in the communities in which they live and operate their businesses, small business owners learn communication, relationship building and leadership skills that will serve them throughout their lives and careers.”

For more information, contact Frank Lockwood at 828-227-3390 or lockwood@wcu.edu .


Maintained by the WCU Office of Public Relations
Last modified: Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University