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Entrepreneurship project a ‘win-win-win’ for students, JU and Arlington businesses

Entrepreneurship students are teaming up with local small business owners to help spur their companies’ growth as part of a Davis College of Business course described as a “win-win-win” for JU, its students and Arlington.

Under the guidance of Prof. Martin Luytjes, a selection process was conducted through the Arlington Council in the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and the process identified six businesses in need of assistance through creation of a business plan. They are Bradley & Associates Insurance (Allstate), The Change Project Inc., dFinity Group LLC, Dial’s Welding, Glam Hair Studio and Horse Sense & Sensitivity.

The businesses selected are working with students from Luytjes’ “Managing and Growing the New Enterprise” course. Businesses chosen to work with the class come from a diverse background, but are all based in Arlington.

“This project is a win-win-win, as the students have an opportunity to work with real businesses, the businesses receive a much-needed business plan and JU gets the opportunity to continue its efforts in redeveloping Arlington,” said Luytjes.

Students will meet regularly throughout the spring semester with their partner businesses to collaborate on the plans. These will then be presented at the end of the term to the businesses for implementation into daily operations.

“We are excited to work with a real business,” said junior Sustainability major Greg Milligan. “It relates to the discussions we are having this semester in class.”

The Davis College of Business and Davis Entrepreneurs Organization (DEO) have been active working with local startups in the Arlington and greater Jacksonville area, and have also produced a number of small businesses by students, faculty and staff alike. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to complete an Entrepreneurship certificate with an additional three courses regardless of their major. The DEO has hosted “Dolphin Pitch,” a Shark Tank-based event, along with hosting Entrepreneurship Week, which it host again March 7-10.

JU has heightened its focus overall on student innovation, interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, including formation of the Florida EPIC (Entrepreneurism​​, Policy, Innovation, and Commerce) Program, whose core mission is attracting and developing students who are highly qualified upon graduation and ready to work in the sought-after fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), plus health sciences, global trade, aviation, business analytics and sustainability – fields with potential to bring a high number of jobs and businesses to Florida.