“Our work is worship.”
This sentiment, expressed by Dr. Shawn Hussey, epitomizes the purpose of Corban’s School of Business. Some find the topic of Christians in business difficult to understand and define, but Entrepreneurship, a class taught by Hussey, tackles this issue. Through the course, students are given case studies which cause them to deepen their understanding of how to run a business as well as evaluate business decisions from a Christian perspective.
The last third of the class is entirely focused on students forming their own business plans. For some students, this exercise is entirely applicable. Others discover throughout the course that entrepreneurship is not for them.
Regardless of whether or not a student actually intends to start their own business, this class offers unique insight to the role a Christian businessman should play.
The class looks at the principles set out by Timothy Farris in The 4-Hour Workweek. Though a secular book, the class takes the principles and applies them to Biblical ideas. “The whole purpose is to free yourself so you have time to do what you want,” explained Hussey.
Besides taking entrepreneurial classes, aspiring business owners can take other steps to start their careers now. Two students on campus, Caleb Stultz and Sam Coleman, have begun using the website KickStarter to sell t-shirts and gain business experience.
KickStarter is a website where a person can raise money through a campaign, and backers receive different rewards for different amounts pledged. For Coleman, one of his options is pledging $25 to receive a t-shirt with Coleman’s unique “Star Wars and Moustaches” design on it.
Stultz offers a similar deal for his “Zelda: Hyrule University” shirt. Other products with the unique designs are offered, such as coffee mugs and desktop backgrounds.
Coleman had quick success with his product. He reached the goal of $500 in only 17 hours, and went on to pass $3,500 in sales. Stultz also did better than he was expecting, with almost $1,000 additional backing.
One of the benefits of KickStarter is that if a project is not fully funded, the backers do not pay and the creator does not have to provide the product with insufficient funding.
“The system they have works, and it’s such a fertile community right now, ” said Stultz. “If community believes in product, they’ll back it.”
Due to the huge success of both ventures, both Coleman and Stultz hope to continue with KickStarter and their entrepreneurial efforts.
For those seeking to use KickStarter for their own projects, Coleman suggests doing the research.
“See what was successful, and budget everything beforehand,” said Coleman.
Attempting to budget for international shipping was difficult, and both Coleman and Stultz underestimated the cost, so it pays to do the investigating.
With a creative idea, a unique way of presenting it, and a venue like KickStarter, college students have more opportunities than even to start their business careers.
Check out the links below to see the KickStarter pages of Corban’s own.
Sam Coleman: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/793732707/star-wars-and-mustaches-tee?ref=live
Caleb Stultz: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kalub92/hyrule-university-class-of-1442-t-shirt?ref=live