This semester, Waynesburg University has implemented a new program for students looking to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.
Students who have business ideas can now go to the eHIVE, located on the second floor of Stover, where they can seek for advice from a mentor.
The eHIVE officially opened Friday, Oct. 5 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mindy Walls, chair of the Stover Entrepreneurial Leadership program, was brought to Waynesburg to start the program.
“I was hired by Waynesburg to develop a cross-campus program and entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial leadership,” Walls said. “The eHIVE is our student entrepreneurship center. It’s a place where students regardless of freshman, sophomore, junior, senior even graduate students regardless of major can come if they have an idea they would like to work on.”
Walls said students can learn a variety of skills that would benefit them for jobs in the future.
“Things like creative problem solving, innovation, the ability to work in teams and groups,” she said. “Those types of skills are real skills that are necessary not just for successful business operators but really for all jobs. These are the skills that businesses are looking towards for students to have.”
Walls said a big reason for creating the e-Hive was for students to get more experience in entrepreneurial leadership.
“The reason that we developed the program in entrepreneurial leadership was so that we can provide something that students from across the university can get more experience with,” she said. “Creativity, problem-solving, innovation working on problems that don’t readily have an answer. Doing that not just through study but actually through experiences.”
After students go to the eHIVE with business ideas, there are multiple ways for them to get help through different types of programming.
“We will do programming on innovation, we can do workshops, we can do lectures, will also host a series of challenges and competitions,” Walls said.
The second function of the eHIVE involves more personal attention to the student.
Samantha Brown, a sophomore marketing major, has taken advantage of the benefits behind the eHIVE. Regardless of the scenario, Brown said the program helps people get their business ideas started.
“My mom had breast cancer when I was in high school and just seeing a lot of the lack of aftercare products for her I’ve been trying to think of ways to make it more available to other people,” Brown said. “I heard this was a great opportunity because when you come in you have to sign a non-disclosure and they just really genuinely want to help you just get your business off the ground which I think is awesome.”
Brown has already received help on plans for her business.
“We’ve been going over about the basic business plan and [Walls] has been helping me kind of get in contact with people who later are going to help me make product samples, competitions to go to and be able to get more money to start my business,” Brown said.
The first event that students can get involved in with the eHIVE is Oct. 29 called the “Nothing Into Something” challenge. Students will be in groups of no more than four people and create an idea from an everyday item which will be provided. The winning group will win $100 each.
To learn more about the eHIVE and everything it has to offer, contact Walls at mwalls@waynesburg. edu.