Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Berry Entrepreneurial College

Students Gain Valuable Experience Managing On-Campus Enterprises . When Anthony Bonazza first enrolled at Berry College, he knew he would be getting a first-class education at a leading liberal arts college. What he never imagined was that he would have the opportunity to start an on-campus business with a group of his fellow students.

Thanks to a new initiative promoting on-campus student enterprises, Bonazza is doing exactly that as he works alongside other students in support of their new business, Jersey Beef. Together, these students are getting valuable firsthand experience in all aspects of business administration as they oversee the marketing and sale of beef from Berry’s Jersey herd. Administrators see this as a natural extension of Berry’s premier on-campus work experience program, and Bonazza is thrilled to help blaze a trail that other students will be able to follow. “We’re all really excited about it,” Bonazza said. “We’re happy to be one of the first enterprises; it’s a big opportunity.”

A unique aspect of the new program is that it enables students from all majors the opportunity to work together in support of a specific enterprise. The students involved in the launch of Jersey Beef demonstrate the amazing diversity of talent that it takes to get a business started. The four-member launch team included two business and finance majors, an accounting major and an animal science major.

“We need communication majors to help with public relations, animal science majors to help with the actual product and obviously someone with a good business sense to manage it all,” said Rufus Massey, assistant vice president of enterprise development. Massey is the chief administrator for the project; in that role, he oversees the new program and helps students get their enterprises off the ground.

Jersey Beef is one of several student-run enterprises launched this spring. One is marketing the sale of all-natural, hormone-free Angus beef in various cuts including steak and ground-beef portions. Another is involved in the production and sale of Jersey milk. Others in various stages of development include an organic garden, a bike shop, an online store offering alumni-specific merchandise, student management of the Cottages at Berry and a genetics enterprise marketing embryos produced by Berry’s Jersey herd. Currently, 10 student-run enterprises are in the pilot stage, and several more could follow in the near future.

“We hope to learn many things from these pilot projects,” Massey said. “The students involved are smart, excited and are all working very hard to ensure the success of these charter enterprises. Our work experience program has always provided Berry students with an important leg up when they graduate and join the work force. As this program develops, we believe it will serve as one more differentiator that will help to set our students apart.”

Holly Clifford Corral at represents Berry College and students who have started and run their own businesses on campus. Their program is called the enterprise development program. Berry College was started 100 years ago with the goal of developing an entrepreneurial spirit among their students. Holly Clifford Corral is President Tango Marketing and can also be reach at 404-668-7733

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