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UNCG business students prepare new store to hone entrepreneurial skills

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TWC News: UNCG business students prepare new store to hone entrepreneurial skills
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GREENSBORO -- Students looking to get an entrepreneurial edge on the competition will now be able to do just that in their classes. The University of North Carolina Greensboro Bryan School of Business is gearing up to launch its student run store. And after Tuesday, it will be one step closer to opening.

The products that will soon fill the shelves are slowly trickling into the Spartan Trader. That's when the work will really begin for the students who run it.

“So we're going to be in charge of what comes into the store and focusing in on how we select the right things to put in the store that other stores may not have,” said UNCG freshman Matthew Pollock.

The store is the first of its kind with students, faculty and staff creating the homemade goods that will fill the shelves.

“[We] are selling everything from artwork, to handmade wooden pens, to backpacks, to jewelry, to clothing, so we have a lot of very different talented people here on campus,” said Bryan School of Business professor Dianne Welsh.

In the classroom, they learn all the skills they need, but through this project they get to put those skills to work by running a real business and making a real profit.

“The learning experience is making a profit because no one can survive in the red," said Welsh. "So a very integral part of this learning experience is that we operate this store in the black. So yes, we have expenses and we have to make a profit."

The store is made possible with an $18,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation. To start, four classes will be taught using the store like an internship.

“Because you can't have experiential learning without good feedback and that's the hard thing about sending them off and letting someone else manage the internships. And so you get to a point where you're there and you see what's going on, and you can kind of pull them aside as a good supervisor might,” Bryan School of Business Professor Bonnie Canziani said.

And with that feedback, officials hope the students will be able to take the skills they've learned and become successful entrepreneurs. The store is open to the public. It will officially open on Feb. 13.

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