Hillsdale College entrepreneurial club, Enactus, hopes to bridge the gap between the student body and the broader Hillsdale community with the launch of their new podcast, “Business Casual”.
Hosts freshmen Jeremiah Tiews and Victoria Nuñez will interview local small business owners from Hillsdale through the college’s radio station, Radio Free Hillsdale. The goal of the podcast is to form relationships with local businesses in Hillsdale, to inform and educate students, and to get the word out for these businesses.
“We’d love Hillsdale students to patronize more businesses in Hillsdale,” Vice President of Enactus junior Abigail VandenBerg said. “I’m from a college town, and the college is always involved with the town and the town with the college, and that’s such a great relationship that I think we’re really missing at Hillsdale, and this is just one small step.”
Every year, Enactus club members develop a project to address different problems in the community, and that’s how “Business Casual” was conceptualized.
“Some of our first meetings we were just brainstorming different problems in the community that we could fix and that’s kind of where it started,” Secretary of Enactus sophomore Madison Vandegrift said. “There’s such a huge gap between the community and the students on campus. Some students have never actually gone into downtown Hillsdale, so we were just trying to find something that would reach everyone. And the idea of a podcast show just popped up and we were like, let’s just go with it.”
As well as offering a platform for local businesses, club members hope the podcast will inform and educate students on the nuances of running a small business.
“We’re bringing entrepreneurs and innovators onto the show that may have some really great advice for students,” Vandegrift said, also mentioning that they plan to host college faculty members and other Hillsdale students with business expertise on the podcast.
The club hopes to broadcast two interviews per month. The first interviewee will be Brett Boyd, owner of Hometown Hotspot in Hillsdale. Club members are also eyeing Pub & Grub on North Street.
“Deep down what we’re looking for is a story,” Nuñez said. “A story we can learn from and a story that can help us after we graduate and try and start our own business.”
The club plans to launch the podcast on Feb. 6, and listeners can tune in through Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher, or they can listen live through 101.7 FM Radio Free Hillsdale. Students can expect to get discounts from local businesses through a livestream version online. Discounts will not be offered through the radio air version due to FCC rules.
“On the live stream, we’re going to try and offer student discounts for that particular business and just some business news,” Vandenberg said. “But mainly, we just want to hear a really cool story with a great person in the community to bring you closer to the Hillsdale community, but also maybe inspire you a little bit.”