Feedback is the newest of three student-run retail stores at [Belmont] University, which has made entrepreneurship a major focus. All three stores have prime real estate on the ground floor of Belmont’s Curb Event Center, which is along busy Belmont Boulevard. The university set aside space for the student retail operations when it built the center in 2003. The other two stores, a CD shop called Reverb Media and an art gallery/graphic design studio called Blvd., opened last spring and have been slowly but surely making names for themselves on campus and, to some extent, in the neighborhood.
“It’s not fast by any means,” Reverb Vice President Bryan Vaughan, a sophomore from Broken Bow, Neb., said Thursday. “But we’ve definitely picked up the pace.”
No one’s getting rich. But everyone seems happy to have the chance to run a business.
“I like doing business with art as much as creating it,” said Kate Miller, a junior design communications major who’s minoring in business administration and is a manager of Blvd. “It’s pretty much like the perfect scenario. I’m very lucky to be involved.”
Jeff Cornwall, director of Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship, said he doesn’t know of another college or university with three student-run stores. The university also has a business ”hatchery” where students can use computers, a fax machine and meeting space to put together their ideas.
“It’s a really interesting experience for them to learn all the hoops you have to go through,” Cornwall said.
Students apply for the chance to run a business in one of the three spaces. Belmont leases space and provides startup money to the groups that submit the best proposals. The students pay the school a percentage of their revenues for rent.
On the Web:
Center for Entrepreneurship
Dr. Jeff Cornwall’s weblog, The Entrepreneurial Mind