“Students on the Square” – A new WKU student store to open on Fountain Square
Bowling Green, Kentucky, September 21, 2012 – WKU’s Research Foundation has selected two winners in a campus wide competition for retail space on Bowling Green’s Fountain Square. Two winning ventures will share location: Jonathon Randolph will market unique student-made furniture and WKU’s Student’s in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team market hand-woven crafts such as baskets, baby wraps, scarves and handbags made by Burmese weavers and Kenyan basket makers.
Professor J. Krist Schell and Dr. Bob Hatfield opened the “Students on the Square” retail business plan competition to all WKU students. The competition drew nine applications which were judged by a blue-ribbon committee of small business owners in the area and two faculty members from the Gordon Ford College of Business. WKU’s Research Foundation also provides a “student incubator” in the Business Accelerator at the Center for Research and Development on the Nashville Road. The “Students on the Square” store expands the student incubator to now include retail student business ideas.
The fountain square store space is located off the brick walkway next to the Capital Theater. According to Dr. Hatfield, “the store is made possible because a donor wants to provide WKU students a chance to succeed or fail in business while they are still in college.” The store with the complementary products will be open to the public as soon as possible. The proceeds from this small business will benefit the owners, WKU students, the Bowling Green Area, and in SIFE’s case the Kenyan and Burmese women who created the items to be sold. The handmade items like baskets, scarves and handbags range from $15-$65 while the hand-crafted furniture will range from $40-$600. The WKU Research Foundation predicts that this retail outlet will attract customers from students and people from all over Bowling Green.
The selection panel included three local business owners: Jimmy Diemer, owner of Jimmy Diemer’s BBQ and Self-Storage; Chris Abend, co-owner of Bowling Green Pipe and Cigar on Fountain Square, Doug Rohrer franchise owner of Baskin Robbins and Associate Vice President of the Center for Research and Development. Miller Slaughter, director of WKU’s Small Business Development Center, J. Krist Schell, Executive-in-Residence in Management, and Bob Hatfield, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research in the Gordon Ford College of Business also were part of the panel.
For more information: J. Krist Schell, The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 270-745-4142
(Source: Press release from the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sep 21, 2012)