Social media is booming and so are opportunities for young social media gurus, like Anna Boyd.
Boyd, a senior entrepreneurship major at Samford University, plans to use society’s growing dependence on social media to her advantage.
Boyd has utilized social media to promote the purchase of t-shirts she personally designed, and is in the beginning stages of creating a business plan for a website to enter into a competition in the spring. Boyd also acts as a social media manager for a shopping center called Lakeside Village Center in Orlando, Fla.
“I have always had a special interest for social media and I love the personal touch you can have with customers that you might not be able to have without it,” Boyd says.
Boyd has the upper hand when it comes to resources thanks to Samford’s business incubator program. The incubator will supply her with resources, council and space as she pursues these business ventures.
Boyd was chosen to participate because of her success in an entrepreneurship class competition in Spring 2013. During the competition, she displayed business savvy and impressed faculty members.
“In my class competition, each student was given $100 to start a company, so I chose to sell homemade cookies and spring break t-shirts to Samford students,” Boyd says. “It turned out to be extremely successful. I generated $6,000 in revenue and placed first in my class.”
Samford professor and incubator director, Franz Lohrke, encouraged Boyd to pursue this passion with the help of the incubator.
“One of the big problems new businesses face is they have to rent a store probably a month or two before opening the doors and they have to rent space to have meetings with clients. If it’s the first time someone is starting a business, they may or may not know all the possible roadblocks and places you can get in trouble,” Lohrke says.
Lohrke hopes the business incubator will supply new student companies with everything they need to jump the hurdles involved in launching a new business and avoid common pitfalls.
“The role of an incubator is to give a business a home, and obviously an incubator protects and nurtures and allows something to grow, such as a new business,” Lohrke says.
The Samford incubator will provide students with a free space to work and hold conferences with potential clients and free use of common facilities such as a copy machine. Most importantly, incubator participants will be working in close proximity to the professors of the Brock School of Business who can provide advice and help these young entrepreneurs network within the Birmingham area and beyond.
“I definitely hope that the different things I try this year in the incubator will carry over after school,” Boyd says. “I would love to have my have my own successful business someday.”
Photos by Courtney Price