Taking an introduction to business course is one of the first steps into the competitive world of business and becoming an entrepreneur.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be difficult at first, even intimidating.
Dr. Keanon Alderson, professor of business at California Baptist teaches an introduction to business class in which he instructs his students in how to start a small business effectively and the ethics of running a business in one semester. He begins the course with a project that does not end until the end of the semester.
“I developed an assignment to give students practical experience in business, to show them business is fun and lastly, to show them we can do good things with our business skills and knowledge,” Alderson said, “These skills can be used for good to benefit society. That business is not all about chasing profit at all cost for selfish purposes. Our products and services meet people’s needs and satisfy their wants.”
The assignment is created in a way that within a group of four people each member of the group invests $5 to come up with a total investment of $20 to produce a product to sell. In order to earn credit for the project, the team must break even by earning the same amount they invested. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to learn what it means to become an entrepreneur with a small investment.
“Students are also creative: tropical fish, dorm cleaning, shoe shining, food delivery, couch sales (obtained free from Craigslist), merchandise bought from Chinese websites, cell phone products, jewelry, students have created micro- enterprises and sold all sorts of things,” Alderson said.
The professor gives students opportunities they didn’t think they had before, and he donates the majority of profits to benefit the homeless with Path of Life Ministries and the remainder is used for student scholarships.
“I like the idea that the professor is pushing us to start a small business with $20 of an investment because it gives us real experience in the struggles of (starting a business),” said Maria Paez, sophomore international business major.
Several students have continued with the project that has helped them earn income during college. The possibilities Alderson sets for his students gives them the opportunity to learn about business in an ethical manner and thrive.
“Doing this project as a business major has been beneficial to me because it has helped me to learn what it means to start my own business and interact with new people in order to sell the product,” said Marissa Nunez, freshman business administration major.
Although running a business seems intimidating, students say it is professors such as Alderson who set them on the path to success.