PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- With the close of the 2014-2015 academic year, students in Pace University's Student Enterprise Center celebrated another successful year.
The center is the work of Dr. Kathy Winsted and has allowed Pace undergraduates the chance to follow their entrepreneurial spirit for half a decade.
Founded in 2010, the center currently oversees three student-run businesses on campus.
The idea began when two business students approached Dr. Winsted and pitched the idea of starting an entrepreneurial club at the Pleasantville campus.
Rather than set up a series of workshops and guest lectures, Winsted prompted her students a to work with live ammunition and start their own business "If you want to be and entrepreneur" she says "you need to run a business. Until you do that, you cannot completely learn how to be an entrepreneur."
The organization began with the opening of Pace Perk in Spring 2010 with the creation of on-campus, late night coffee shop. With limited guidance from Winsted, students were able to renovate the structure, negotiate loans, organize partnership with Pace dining services, and effectively train, hire, and manage student workers. Balancing schoolwork and a to-do list rivaling that of a full time entrepreneur, the students were able to get the shop off the ground. Today Pace Perk operates successfully, while being entirely student run.
Continuing toff of Perk's success, Winsted guided students through the process of opening two new campus ventures: Pace Connect, a call center focused on informing students and alumni of various university-related events, and Pace Mart, an on-campus convenience store stocked with student essentials.
In addition to making money, the real function of these businesses is to teach valuable business lessons.
"It is a wonderful experience for students, Winsted says, learning how to read reports, handle advertising, payroll, loan negotiating and so on. These are real businesses, and they are learning so much."
Since Pace Mart, Pace Perk, and Pace Connect are entirely student run organizations, they are closed until the Fall 2015 semester begins.