Over the next two weeks students will learn what means to be an entrepreneur. They will meet with local leaders, small business owners and financial advisors to learn what it takes to begin a small business. The culmination of their work will be to produce and sell a self crafted soda.
Day 1: Students began by getting to know one another, dream casting their ideas and learning about leadership theory. We began by playing Jenga–with a twist; the task was to encourage one another so that all 15 students would get a turn, and on each block there was an icebreaker question. Students were separated into three business groups by random draw and this will be their small business team for the week. Groups later toured campus to decide on the best use of the funds raised through their business venture–where and how can they give back to CA? The afternoon was spent in a master-class in leadership theory led by CA Alumna Erica Christmas.
Day 2: Students traveled to the Escape Game in Clarksville to try their luck at problem solving, team bonding and identifying leadership skills of their group members. After successfully escaping all four rooms, students travelled to the Ft. Campbell Outdoor Recreation center to participate in the Odyssey Challenge Course, a ropes course activity. This course was just another way to learn team work, community building and leadership in their groups.
Day 3: The group traveled to Thrive Creative Group to speak with owner Lorilee Rager and her team. Mrs. Rager provided the group with a wealth of information on marketing and branding. After lunch, students returned to campus to brainstorm product names, marketing strategies and branding opportunities.
Day 4: The group travelled to Project 2231 to tour Miss Lucille’s, Belle Hollow, ACME Athletics, and The City Forum. We heard from Clifford who told us the story behind each business venture, and the students came out with a new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into the entertainment business. We bowled, ate delicious pizza, and played in the arcade before returning to CA to finish our work for the day.
Day 5: The group heard from three key figures in the entrepreneur community in Clarksville: Janie Manning, owner of NBalance Yoga Studio; Austin Cherry, CA alumnus and owner of Cherry’s Custom Concrete; and Lorneth Peters, Director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at APSU. The students listened to a panel discussion and an open Q&A session afterward. Later that morning the group walked over to F&M Bank to hear from Nelson Boehms about small business financing options for emerging entrepreneurs. After a meal at Blackhorse, they headed back to CA to work within roles to develop graphics, marketing strategies, sales plans, and more.
We had a big time brewing our sodas at Kings Bluff Brewery! Dustin Brewer gave us lots of details about how his business operates and what they stand for in our community. The groups will brew Root Beer, Orange and Grape Sodas! Stay tuned!