Augusta Business Daily

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Local university organization helps launch student businesses

Kaitlyn Le has always enjoyed sales, which is why she set up her own Etsy shop that sells Asian-inspired tote bags.

Le, a pre-med major, serves as co-founder and co-president of Augusta University’s Young Entrepreneur Organization, which was founded in the spring of 2022 to help students either start or grow their businesses by providing marketing and funding. One of its members, who sells crochet plushies and keychains, made $400 in a single day by selling her items on campus.

She said the businesses are a great way for students to earn extra money and gain valuable networking experience. So far, the organization has provided $800 in funding for student businesses, which sell a variety of products, including henna tattoos and gourmet baked goods.

Le is currently raising funds for YEO, which was founded in spring 2022, by selling graduation leis, but its largest fundraiser has been a boba tea bar they set up on campus every other month.

“This money we’re raising will go to start other student businesses,” she said.

While some of its members, like Le, have no desire to continue with their businesses after college, she said they’re still benefiting from the experience.

“I think it’s important for any workplace,” Le said. “If you’re not going to sell yourself, you won’t have anyone else to sell you.”

Crotched plushies are a big seller for the AU YEO.

For her, the best part of leading the organization has been watching its members’ growth. Before they joined, some were introverts, but they now hold conversations with other students about the products they offer.

“Considering we’ve only been around for one year, we’ve made some big progress,” she said.

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