Entrepreneur Society aids emerging execs

by Sandra De La Torre

entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is not just about business establishment. It requires brainstorming, planning, networking and determination. San Diego State’s Entrepreneur Society helps students sharpen these skills and provides opportunity for future entrepreneurs.

This organization began when a group of students interested in starting their own businesses banded together to “bring together entrepreneurial-minded students in San Diego.”

Through ES, students have the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills without requirements or fees to join. Students of all majors are welcome and it is not necessary to have a specific idea or plan to start a business.

According to Benjamin Arp, a business management major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and current president of ES, the organization “wants people to be ready for when they have that great idea.”

One way the organization prepares students is by connecting them to the Entrepreneurial Management Center. This center holds a wealth of information for students regarding business competitions, internships and news about the industry.

“There are a lot of untapped resources that students don’t know about,” Arp said.

ES guides students in the right direction so they can take advantage of these resources.

Meetings usually last about an hour and involve discussions about different start-up companies emerging, while highlighting current events affecting industry. There are also guest speakers who provide students with insightful information and a chance to network with professionals.

A small intimate setting during speaker presentations gives an opportunity for students to feel more comfortable and ask any lingering questions. It is one aspect that differentiates it from other organizations.

An accountability program will also be implemented during meetings this semester.

“We want to know what everyone’s passion is, what skills they have and what they need to get to the next level so we can connect them to the right people,” ES vice president Brian Kidwell said.

Every week, students discuss the steps they have taken to achieve specific goals, in addition to deciding upon the steps they will take the following week. This program encourages students to pursue their dreams in a proactive manner.

Along with meetings, there are other opportunities students can gain from this organization.

A business plan competition called the Lavin VentureStart is put together by ES every semester and is open to all SDSU students. There are three workshops offered throughout the competition, which teach participants about the different requirements of a successful business plan.

“The business competition teaches you how to identify opportunities,” Arp said. “You learn about business plans and how to present to investors and there’s basically no risk. To be able to do this on campus and without risk is beneficial to students.”

Skills students attain can be utilized when working within other industries as well.

“If you have the drive of an entrepreneur within a corporation, you will get further than most of your coworkers,” Kidwell said. “There is so much to be learned from entrepreneurs that you can apply to your life, whether you want to be an entrepreneur or not.”

Students who are looking to hone their entrepreneurial skills or who would like to start their own businesses may find this organization a perfect fit.

For more information regarding ES, contact Arp at benarp76@gmail.com.

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