By May, Enactus will open an entirely student-run produce market for the community, operating out of Broadstreet Downtown Market and funded by private donors.
With the goal of providing farm-fresh, healthy food at affordable prices, Enactus plans to bring a locally-sourced farm produce retail store to the city of Hillsdale. Though the target market will be low-income households, the business will target students as well.
“Enactus gives students a direct avenue to entrepreneurship,” club President senior Nick Brown said. “It’s an opportunity to get your hands dirty and learn about the free market.”
Enactus plans to open their doors after they develop and finalize a business and marketing plan.
“This project in particular operates within the overlap of farm economics and marketing essential foodstuffs to low-income buyers,” said Professor Bob Blackstock, the faculty moderator of Enactus. “Students will have to research the needs of the farmers and the proposed customers, construct a business plan to meet those needs, and find resources to implement the plan.”
Students will organize into three teams: the farm team will have the responsibility of acquiring the food at the right price, the logistics team will plan transportation between producers and the store, and the third team will organize and package the food.
“I want to get some hands-on experience – if we spend enough time planning, we can make a successful business that’s a real benefit to the community,” said sophomore Alexandra Leonard, a new member of Enactus.
Since the planning phase has just started, students can still join the project.
“You can fail here,” Brown said. “Therefore, success will be meaningful.”