Mayleben: Local, student businesses are vital

As we look at the recent Big-Ideas Challenge, it strikes a feeling in my heart that will always ring true, especially after my experiences at MNSU. 

I am a Business Management Major with a minor in Entrepreneurship, and with that, I have become hyper aware of other student’s ventures in entrepreneurship.

Whether it be a full blown business or just a “side-hustle”, it is imperative for us to support those young people in our community who show the initiative to build something, no matter how ambitious. 

Students our age have begun to see that with the skills they are learning in college, they are able to create new solutions to problems, and in turn, make a profit. 

These companies, or whatever you want to call them, can be amazing opportunities for these students to make money, but even better opportunities to learn about the business world. 

Our University offers great ways for students to exercise these entrepreneurial muscles, with programs like the IBE Program, Big Ideas Challenge, or the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s “1 Million Cups”. 

These experiences are only successful if we support them.

It is crucial, and ethically much more sound to take part in these small businesses, especially when compared to the massive companies that are the alternative. 

While yes, occasionally, there is a price difference that comes from buying in a local setting vs from massive retailers like Target or Amazon, but that with that price difference comes an investment. 

When you go and buy a hoodie from an IBE Company, or share the website of a local business, you are not only giving these entrepreneurs a source of income, you are investing in the community that we are all a part of. 

I think the world would be a little better off if we made a habit of buying from lemonade stands.

Richer is the community filled with small business, than one ruled by corporations. While corporations have a place in today’s world that is undeniable, small business creates the culture and fosters creativity within a community. 

So, the first step to creating amazing entrepreneurs who can go on to create amazing businesses, is to support them when they are small and learning. 

Now, when I say companies, I mean this could be anything from an easy online side-hustle gig like drop-shipping to a fully fledged storefront business. 

The crux is creating a personal goal to support the businesses that directly impact our communities. 

Fostering a culture in ourselves where we support each other’s growth and prosperity is how we, as a student body, city, or even state can go from being a stationary society, to a thriving and healthy community. 

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