Guest Blogger: Dr. Joan Wiggenhorn, Associate Professor of Finance
Delta Mu Delta, the Business Honor Society, held their spring luncheon on March 23rd. A record number of students attended the lunch which was held in the Link Media Room in the Evans Library. Mr. Robert Keimer, the acting director of the Women’s Business Center, was the featured speaker, and he received rave reviews from the students. His talk, “Finding Opportunities in a Time of Change”, focused on entrepreneurial activities, but had strategies for all workers in the 21st century.
Mr. Keimer spoke about the exponential change occurring in the U. S. labor force. Right now, twenty percent of the U.S. work force are consultants, contractors or free agents and that number will soon grow to 25% of the workforce being employed on a contingent basis. He next debunked some myths about entrepreneurs.
- First myth –it takes a lot of money to start a business. Wrong! The average startup costs about $65,000.
- Second myth—you have to be old (or young) to be an entrepreneur. Wrong! About one third of entrepreneurs are over the age of 44, but 50% are between the ages of 25-44. One local entrepreneur started in eighth grade.
- Third myth—entrepreneurs are born, not made. Wrong again! Mr. Keimer stressed that entrepreneurship can be learned. As an example, his father was a natural entrepreneur starting more than five businesses, some successful, some not; on the other hand, Mr. Keimer “learned” entrepreneurship originally with his family and then in 2007, he co-founded Airgonomix which produces a personal air system that can be used in large buildings. They are currently in beta testing and looking for venture capital money. (Anyone with $1-$3 million, I know a good place to put your money)
So are you hooked on being an entrepreneur? How do you get started? Mr. Keimer offered some suggestions:
- Look for trends: energy efficient products, environmentally friendly products, products catering to an aging America, and products reflecting globalization were just a few.
- Read: Entrepreneur Magazine is a good place to start.
- Ask yourself questions: Is there a need? How big a problem is it? What are the solutions? Some of the answers may surprise you. Two of the wackiest were Popsy Cakes (cupcakes on a pretzel stick) and PedalPubs (a vehicle with a paid bartender that serves you beer while you and many friends pedal it along).
The Delta Mu Delta luncheon provided a great opportunity for the new members to meet one another. While there are several requirements, the most restrictive requirement for eligibility is to be in the top 20% of the junior or senior class and top 10% in the graduate program. This year there are 24 new members, a record, who will be inducted at the College of Business Honors Banquet on Thursday, April 12th. With the increase in numbers, the students are excited about opportunities for the group next fall.
If you have any questions about Delta Mu Delta, please contact Dr. Joan Wiggenhorn in the College of Business.