Many college students go to school with the dream of starting a business after graduation. But for dozens of students attending Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, that dream has become a reality.
Lisa Taylor, who created the Entrepreneurship Hub at NWTC this year, was looking for a way to support these business owners while working with the Startup Hub, which is located on campus. The Startup Hub, a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, offers a year of free office space as a prize, and Taylor continues to host the Eagle Pitch business competition.
“I spend a lot of time raising awareness of what the center can offer, including technical assistance and events designed to support student entrepreneurs,” Taylor said. “Pitch competitions are a great way for students who own a business (which is the qualification for the competition) to gain a clear understanding of their target market, operations, finances, etc., and figure out how to effectively ‘sell’ this information Four minutes.”
The competition takes place in November. One of the entrants was Cassidy Boesen of Green Bay, owner of Special Bond Horsemanship. Taylor encouraged her to enter, and while she didn’t win, she found it very helpful.
“I shared my business idea, and a lot of people liked the idea and thought I should pursue it,” Berson said. “I got my point, but also realized that I needed to improve my public speaking skills.”
She said she also got great advice that she can use as the business she started about a year ago continues to grow. This includes developing a business plan and marketing. In some ways, Boesen’s process was backwards because the business started before it was planned.
“I’ve worked with horses since I was 3 years old and my skills have improved over the years,” says Bosen. “A few years ago my Aunt Michelle gave me the opportunity to train one of her friend’s horses that needed retraining and exercise. I started training that horse and then another horse, Then another one.”
As the need grew, Boesen realized she had an opportunity and the Special Bond Horsemanship became a reality. With the help of her mentors, she has built a social media presence and added videos explaining how she successfully trains difficult horses and helping those who want to learn how to ride. Her catchphrase is, “Use your horse to achieve your goals.”
The training takes place at Pine View Stables near Pulaski, which is owned by Diane Brott, who says she is lucky to have a home there. Brott was instrumental in her journey and together they forged a partnership built on flexibility and give and take.
She added: “I love working with her. Not only do we work well together, she gives me great ideas about my business.”
If Berson had spoken, you would never have guessed that she was only 19 years old. Steadfast in her goal, after completing her Associate of Science degree at NWTC, she plans to transfer to UW-River Falls, the only state school to offer a degree in equine management, which is considered the highest profile program One of the strongest in the country. There are two options – one for those considering a career in veterinary medicine and one she plans to pursue, which focuses on management.
With this degree, she hopes to take her business to the next level. She wants to go beyond the basics and get a solid education in breed and behavior and learn management skills. But even without that, Boesen admits she’s got a handle on horses.
She could be considered a “horse whisperer” and she has connections. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t injured by a horse, but it’s rare. Mostly, she feels a bond.
“When I chose a business name, I knew I wanted to put the word ‘connection’ in it, because you definitely develop a connection with your horse and there is a connection and understanding,” she says.
One of her goals is to help horse owners make similar connections when learning to ride and control their horses. Most of her students ride for fun, just as she rides her rented Cherokee.
“Horseback riding is therapeutic,” she said. “I use horses as a therapy tool to get rid of stress, and I’ll talk to Cherokee and tell her about my problems. The good news is horses don’t talk back.”
Her life is very stressful. Boesen goes to school, runs her business and works part-time at De Pere’s Sit and Stay Pet Resort, where she walks, cleans and plays with the dogs. It’s a balancing act, but one she hopes will serve her ultimate goal of building a very successful business.
Stress is common for student entrepreneurs, Taylor said.
“The challenges for students who run a business or try to start a new business and who are in school are all time-related,” Taylor said. “Some of our student business owners are in school full-time and working on their business.”
Entrepreneurship courses offered by NWTC help these students develop management skills and relieve some anxiety. For someone like Bosen, learning will be an important part of future growth.
Her dream is to find a place to run her business when she moves to River Falls, and then after she gets her degree, to have a full-fledged business that includes a barn for boarding and training horses, holding clinics, teaching classes, and There are employees.
“I’m still learning, but this is my passion,” she added. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. When I was 3 years old and sat on my aunt’s horse, my dad told me it was time to get off. At that age, I loved horses. I cried and didn’t want to get off.”
Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is the co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and the former regional director of SCORE in Wisconsin.