July 14, 2024

Unitranche

Supportive Business Potential

How to start a business: Liberty celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week through workshops

How to start a business: Liberty celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week through workshops

Liberty University’s Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its “Entrepreneurship Ecosystem” event on Feb. 16. (Photos by Kendall Tidwell)

In celebration of National Entrepreneurship Week, Liberty University’s Center for Entrepreneurship hosted a kickoff event on Feb. 12 to help students brainstorm ideas for new businesses and concluded with its  “Entrepreneurship Ecosystem” event on Feb. 16 to walk students through the different steps of making their dream business a reality.

During Monday’s event, students were given general information about business formation before they were able to put it into practice. On Friday, students were able to visit six different stations led by business professionals and other individuals. The areas were: conducting market research (presented by a librarian liaison), developing a business plan (with a representative from the Lynchburg region’s Small Business Development Center), funding the business (employees with Pinnacle Financial Partners), deciding on a location (commercial and real estate professionals), choosing a business structure (3L Liberty School of Law students), and obtaining federal and state tax IDs (members of Liberty Law’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program).

“Sometimes the hardest part of starting a business is knowing who to talk to get good information,” said School of Business Professor Kristin Boyce, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “These (presenters) are all business leaders who are likeminded, love Liberty, and want to give back to our students. They have already navigated that path, so they can hopefully help students avoid mistakes or issues along the way by sharing firsthand what they have been through and also equipping them with the things you might need to know. The premise of this event is to provide a space and a place with resources and to encourage our budding entrepreneurs to go and grow and step out and take risks.”

Junior Sam Bodine, who is studying cyber security, said he appreciated how the event was “customizable” for students.

“I appreciate the fact that everything is segregated into the different steps of starting a business,” he said. “It’s not just one lesson for everyone on how to start a business; it allows you to see what part of the business starting process you are most interested in.”

Bodine plans on developing software that makes the tax process of cost segregation more efficient. He noted that his classes at Liberty have helped prepare him for the technical aspects of developing this product.

“A huge part of a university is not just what you go to classes for,” he said. “The value comes more from centers exactly like this one that create a community and ecosystem where people learn how to start businesses practically, not just in a classroom, but hearing from people that do it on a regular basis and connecting you with students who are also interested in that is very valuable.”

Bodine also said the key to running a successful business is focusing one’s attention on Christ’s glory instead of one’s personal monetary wealth.

“Starting a business just for the sake of money is completely vain,” he said. “To have a foundation built in Jesus Christ and having that infiltrate the underlying motivation of everything you do, including entrepreneurship, is critical.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship, which operates through the School of Business, offers free resources and services to Liberty students from any academic program who are interested in crafting their own enterprise. starting a business. The center seeks to empower students and challenge them to become godly entrepreneurs while at Liberty and when they leave campus to pursue their careers. Students receive training and feedback on their business plan and even collaborate with visiting mentors who assist in the process of launching and maintaining personal businesses.

“It’s a great resource that anyone on campus can utilize,” Boyce said. “It’s not just for business students or entrepreneurship students. The center is here to help equip any student on campus. Taking advantage of the resources that are available at your fingertips now will alleviate some of the failures that happen with people starting a business.”

In addition to National Entrepreneurship Week events, the center also hosts networking and business development opportunities throughout the year, such as Heart and Hustle, where local entrepreneurs speak to students about intersecting one’s calling with the hard work to make it a reality. The center also holds Lunch/Brunch and Learns, for students to hear from business professionals on various topics.