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Student businesses making an impact on campus

Almost all students at some point in their education have a job. For some, this might mean working in a restaurant or retail, but over the course of the past decade, more students have started their own business.

Posters are found throughout campus advertising student-run businesses for a variety of services. Some sell accessories like bracelets, stickers and makeup, while others focus on nails and hair.

Amaya Holloway is a freshman on campus who runs her own hair styling business. She did not start her business when moving to VSU, but it all began when she was 14. Holloway’s desire is to have fair prices for herself encouraged from the start of her own business.

“I enjoy doing it,” she said. “Hair is something I just like doing and my prices are affordable. My business is based on affordable prices [since] a lot of people tend to charge very high prices. I felt like, why pay such high prices when I can do it myself?”

A survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that the desire to start a business over other careers has risen for young adults ages 18-21 from 19% in 2007 to 25% in 2010.

“I don’t really know about these businesses,” said Leisa Flynn, department head of marketing and international business. “I would say though, that setting up and starting a business is a good experience for any entrepreneur.”

Elizabeth Letho, another freshman, sells t-shirts and stickers through her online shop. Her business started during quarantine, where boredom pushed her to begin making things for others and advertising using Instagram and TikTok.

This isn’t Letho’s first crack at small business. She sold bath bombs and soap in high school. However, taking her new business online taught her a lot.

“I’ve learned to love small business and now encourage others to shop small,” she said.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in the U.S. there are 30.2 million small businesses. The SBA also stated that 50% of small businesses are likely to survive five years. This disproves the stereotype that small businesses are bound to fail in their first year.

Khamia Reese, another freshmen, co-owns a business with Holloway. This business focuses on girls’ accessories. They started their business together on campus to sell items they would want.

“In this town there are not many stores real close that have accessories at low prices for college students,” Reese said.

With all these small businesses popping up around campus, what does the future hold for these young entrepreneurs? Businesses advertise on a section of VSU’s community student feed through the V-State Mobile app.

To get in touch with the student businesses mentioned above, contact Reese at @a.k_kollection; Letho at @youngandbrokecollegekid; Holloway at @stylezbymaya.

Story written by Gwen Friedman. Photo courtesy of Flickr. 

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