Student entrepreneurs on the campus of Bob Jones University are making contributions to the Bible Conference offering through their innovative businesses.
Dr. Adele Dunn, a faculty member in the Division of Management, teaches introduction to entrepreneurship & innovation. The entrepreneurship course encourages students to create or improve a business they already have.
One of the many businesses started in Dunn’s class, belongs to Benjamin Church, a sophomore business Major. “We are starting a flower company to sell flowers to BJU students for artist series,” Church said.
Church said the idea started among his group when they saw a lot of students going off campus and buying expensive flowers for their dates. “We want to provide nice flowers and easy service on campus,” Church said. “We are trying to start that this semester, so we’re hoping by the first artist series, we’ll be able Business class inspires student Bible conference fundraisers to provide custom flowers to students.” Church said all the profits from the flower business and other businesses created in the class go towards the Bible Conference.
Church is one of the many entrepreneurs at BJU who has taken Dunn’s course on entrepreneurship. Church said he was hoping to take Dunn’s class earlier, as he has his own lawn care business in Greenville. “I like solving problems,” Church said. “It’s the heart of entrepreneurship. When you can see a problem and come up with an innovative way to solve it, you’re helping yourself and your customer and that’s something I’ve always enjoyed.”
Church said in the course, you learn that there is an entrepreneur way to do even the basic stuff. “It’s not necessarily about learning how to make money, but it’s about learning how to minister with the money you earn,” Church said.
While his landscape business began before the course, he said the class helped him learn about the finances, accounting, and marketing side of a business. “Dr. Dunn teaches us that the primary goal as an entrepreneur is to provide value for your customer,” Church said. “Just like our Christian life, we’re not here for us. We’re here for other people.” Church said that goal alone has changed how he runs his own business. Church’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to be passionate about what you do and always have good communication with your customers.
Sarah Rumpf and Renai Pesho, seniors and business owners, are also taking Dunn’s class. “What we’re doing is creating organic reed diffusers to sell in the dorm,” Rumpf said. “100% of what we make is going towards the Bible Conference fundraiser.” The diffusers will be sold during Bible Conference week in hopes that they’ll be able to raise money to contribute to Dr. Kadio’s fundraiser. “It’s a good gift for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or for your family members,” Pesho said.
Micah Morrell, a junior business administration major and ent r e p r e n e u r , said Dunn’s entrepreneur class was very interactive. “Dr. Dunn encourages you to go out and actually do it and u n d e r s t a n d the concepts of business,” Morrell said. An owner of two businesses, Morrell has learned key things for his own businesses.
“ O n e key thing I learned in Dr. Dunn’s class is to be organized and have a legitimate business plan,” Morrell said. “Starting a business is really daunting, so to have a class where everybody is in the same situation is encouraging.”
Morrell took Dunn’s course last year which used projects to raise money for last year’s Bible Conference offering, a fundraiser to buy a Save the Storks bus for t h e crisis pregnancy center in Spartanburg. “10% of the revenue during that month of Bible conference went to Save the Storks,” Morrell said. Morrell’s advice to entrepreneurs is to just do it. “This is a great opportunity because you have less life responsibilities,” Morrell said. “There are a lot of resources at BJU to help you out.”