In the Spring of 2016, Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship organized a Business Plan Competition for graduate and undergraduate students with the support of the PNC Foundation. The primary objective of this competition was to motivate students to create a product or service for Chatham students that will enhance their college experience. Business Plans were required to include the following:
- Research about the market potential for their products or services
- Interviews with students and small business owners
- Explanation of how the business will be funded and generate revenue
The two students in the winning group were selected and recognized at Chatham’s Spring Commencement ceremony: Baiyinah Brookins, a Management major and Alexandra Waasdorp, an Accounting major. Alexandra is also Accounting Club President and a summer intern with Mylan, Inc. Each student won a prize of $500!
For their business plan, Alexandra and Baiyinah proposed an online search engine that compares textbook sites’ prices for students to help them save money. According to Alexandra, “This search engine would pull information from your university’s bookstore, Amazon, chegg.com, and other popular sites….[I]t was a valuable learning experience to come up with a concept and financially plan and market it.”
Baiyinah Brookins explains her motivation to join the competition: “As a Business Management major, I was taking the Strategy and Entrepreneurial Ventures class with Anne Schlicht, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Director of the Women’s Business Center. She provided the class with the necessary elements to create a viable and comprehensive business plan. As a team, Alex and I decided to submit our business plan for the competition because we felt that we had a strong business idea and a well-written business plan.”
To conclude, Alexandra Waasdorp reflects on the award: “I enjoyed applying what I have learned in my coursework towards my own idea for a business and creating a business plan for it. I will be applying the award towards next semester’s out of pocket costs associated with my tuition and other fees. I wanted to thank the CWE and the award sponsor, PNC, for providing me with this opportunity!”
Chatham University’s Business programs provide students with the tools and experience needed to excel professionally. The Business and Entrepreneurship Department and the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham promote an excellent educational environment where students have the opportunity to apply theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers.