Students created The Cookie Jar (an affordable, late-night snack shop) and Hesston Dunkball Tournament (a three-on-three basketball tournament played with eight-and-a-half-foot rims). Assignments included conducting market research and assessing the overall need and desire for the kinds of businesses they were interested in operating. To get the necessary start-up capital to open the businesses, students made presentations of their business plans to a panel of Hesston College faculty and staff who served the role of prospective investors.“I like the class because it’s a completely new experience,” says freshman and part owner of The Cookie Jar Jennifer Lecklider of Lyons, Kan. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it, especially if we want to open our own business someday. This class is an insight to what things are really like.”
Once the funds were allocated, students actually ran the businesses and got a glimpse of what it’s like to make payroll, handle customer service, implement marketing strategies, and adjust spending to stay in the black.
“I’ve learned that it’s the little things that make the business complete,” Lecklider says. “You’ve got to work together as a team and make sacrifices for the good of the business.”