The Entrepreneurship Program at Elizabethtown College has been very, well, entrepreneurial lately, acquiring multiple contributions from donors to aid Etown students through scholarships and awards.
The Nuts About Granola Innovation Scholarship, a new financial incentive for entrepreneurial students concerned about sustainability, is an offering through the College and alumnae Sarah Lanphier ’09, founder of Nuts About Granola. The application procedure utilizes social media by having students submit an image of an original sustainable practice, along with a Twitter-esque 140-character or less description on Nuts About Granola’s Facebook page.
Nuts About Granola was founded behind the principle of operating its entire business locally. The granola is made locally, sourced locally, and sold in local farmer’s markets, food marts, and right on campus at the Jay’s Nest.
The Innovation Scholarship is open to all current first-year, sophomore and junior Etown students with drive and a bright idea. All entries must be received by March 31.
Another fairly new scholarship for current Etown students is the Elizabethtown College Entrepreneurship Scholarship. The scholarship was created by alumni Charles ’86 and Cynthia ’85 Ebersole as a way for students across all disciplines to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit and ideas.
Although the scholarship will be used toward the student’s tuition and not directly toward starting the project, mentorship will be provided to overcome challenges and answer questions about becoming an entrepreneur. The goal of the scholarship is to help the student grow, change and to encourage risk-taking.
The 2012 applications are in, and two rounds of acceptance will occur soon. Five to ten applicants will be chosen to display a brief presentation to a panel of entrepreneurs. The winner will be announced in mid-April.
In addition to the two entrepreneurship scholarships, two entrepreneurial awards will be presented this spring as well. Stephen Poorman, ’72 alumnus and principal of the consulting firm Poorman & Group of Lock Haven, Pa., will be presenting two students with $1,500 awards. These additional entrepreneurial awards will be used to encourage and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs. These awards are just some of the several ways the Entrepreneurship Program is working to expand.
Created in 2005, the Entrepreneurship Program was a response to the students, alumni and business department requests for entrepreneurship classes at Etown. At the time, no entrepreneurship programs were available in central Pennsylvania.
Today, entrepreneurship is a concentration in our business department. Dr. Petru Sandu, an associate professor of entrepreneurship and management, teaches three classes, and Michael McGrann, the director of the S. Dale High Center for Family Business, teaches two other classes. As of the spring 2013 semester, Poorman will also be teaching a new entrepreneurship course, Entrepreneurial Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
“I do not want to limit the program and classes to strictly the business department; I want it to be a campus-wide experience,” Sandu said. Currently, the BA380: Entrepreneurship introductory course contains 15 percent non-business majors, which strengthens the class dynamic. The non-major students’ different perspectives bring a lot to the classroom discussion—it’s beneficial to have a variety of backgrounds and interests to make well-rounded, knowledgeable entrepreneurs.
Marty Thomas-Brumme, director of major gifts, said, “Everyone can be an entrepreneur by doing your job differently and by creatively solving problems. Everyone can be an entrepreneur as a part of their everyday life.”
The Entrepreneurship Program’s mission has been implemented through the 2011 recipients of the Entrepreneurship Scholarship, communications seniors Kelly Clayton and Chelsea Decker. They received the award for their creation of Tru(4)ia, a magazine targeted at college-aged women.
Along with the scholarship, they have received mentorship from the scholarship donor alumnus Charles Ebersole ’86. Clayton has worked with Ebersole and Thomas-Brumme to bounce off ideas on how to make revenue, sustain a business and solve problems. Ebersole and his wife, Cynthia, have been the scholarship donors for the past five years. Ebersole wants to help change students’ lives by being a part of getting them up and running. “Ebersole really goes beyond the typical interaction,” Thomas-Brumme said.
Tru(4)ia is a magazine designed to empower girls through topics of sustainability, fashion and travel. “Tru(4)ia actually stands for True Euphoria; it’s about creating your own true happiness, doing things you truly like to do because you think it’s good for … your overall being,” Clayton said.
Currently Clayton is working on fundraising through kickstarter.com. Clayton and Decker have posted a video on Kickstarter in an effort to gain donations. Visit http://kck.st/AETL4m to learn more.