Entrepreneurship Course Turns Revenue Into Support for Shidler Students

One team has created and sold friendship bracelets to facilitate a sense of connection with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Hawaii At Mānoa, first-year students of the Shidler College of Business Direct Admission Program gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience, and the benefits earned are intended to help future students of the program.

Instructor Constancio paranal III teaches a course in “Business Fundamentals” to Students in the Direct Admission Program, which is designed for high performing freshmen who want to enter Shidler College and get a head start on their program of study by business. Part of the fall semester 2021 focused on two topics: entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. Paranal challenged students in both sections of their course to start and run their own businesses for a week. He divided them into groups and with a starting capital of only $ 5, which he invested in each of the groups, he challenged them to do “something” with it.

“I came blind with this activity. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but as always, I appreciate the powers of a creative mind and strong team collaboration. I knew our students could come up with something interesting, ”Paranal said.

Profitable efforts

brownies in a bowl
A team of students made homemade brownies to sell to friends and family.

All the teams came up with interesting businesses, with the majority using their skills and talents, from jewelry making to baked goods to commissioned paintings, another group even provided tutoring services. After a week, the students generated $ 270 in profit (a 675% ROI) and they donated a portion of their profits to the EUH The Foundation’s Direct Admission Program Scholarship Fund as part of “Giving Tuesday”.

“As a class, we agreed that we wanted to support someone who is passionate about pursuing their education at Shidler College of Business,” Wynter ramirez noted. “We want our hard work to help and inspire prospective Direct Admission Program students who seek excellence and success. “

Chelsea Tajon added: “What we chose to do with the money was important because as future businessmen and women there is always an opportunity to be selfless.”

Turn ideas into action

Paranal not only wanted to come up with an activity to motivate students to turn their ideas into action, he also wanted to emphasize the importance of collaboration. Since the students had to run the business within a week and under COVID-19 restrictions, they had to consider each other’s situation while ensuring operational feasibility.

“The project allowed me to see entrepreneurship as more than generating profit, but finding a process where you could maximize your time and resources to generate as much profit as possible,” Tajon said.

“The types of businesses that emerge in the future will be based on young people. I think it’s my job to guide them to see what kind of future they plan to build through their work, ”Paranal said.

This work is an example of EUH Mānoa’s Research Excellence Objectives: Advancing the Company of Research and Creative Work (PDF) and Improve student success (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the 2015-25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

A team sold commissioned paintings to help students brighten up their rooms.