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Entrepreneurship class offers hands-on learning

Monday, March 5, 2012

LAWRENCE — Charlotte Tritch's class, Entrepreneurship in Practice, provides students with more than practice, it gives them real world experience. Last fall the class partnered with the Kansas Union to create, Jayhawk Ink, a business that is not only financially profitable but also a valuable asset to the student community.

Jayhawk Ink is a new printing division based out of Oread Books in the Kansas Union. With the help of the School of Business' entrepreneurship class, the printing center is now able to print on T-shirts.

"It's part of campus, so we're benefiting the University and giving back to the University," said Rachel Barnes, manager of Jayhawk Ink.

Students spent the fall semester creating, researching and implementing the business principles necessary to start a business from scratch. It all started with the idea of creating a business and ended with submitting a proposal to the Kansas Union.

"How do you look at a business from scratch?" Tritch said, when asked about the idea behind the class. "The main benefit is that this class is everything in one package."

The months of hard work in between were spent creating the plans, crunching numbers and writing the proposal, backed by the students' research materials, financial information, as well as demand and marketing strategy analysis.

"The first hand experience is great, doing it and seeing it put into place," said Neal Stark, a senior finance major. "It was cool to see your homework in practice."

Stark concentrated on market research and spent his time projecting financials. Since the class was composed of a mix of majors, each student was able to focus on a different area of the business planning that pertained to their specific area of expertise.

"Helping the students to understand the process of opening a business, the challenges that can arise, and the marketing efforts required, is a hands-on opportunity that these students will benefit from in their future careers," said Estella McCollum, director of the KU Bookstores. "This is a valuable partnership to the KU Bookstore that we hope to continue for many years."

This semester Tritch's students enrolled in Entrepreneurship in Practice will continue to work with the Union to create marketing plans and explore additional business opportunities for Jayhawk Ink.

"Entrepreneurship is great for students to put on resumes, but really gives them confidence when they get into a job," Tritch said.

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