ACU business classes venture into the business world, donate to charity


For immediate release
Dec. 3, 2001

Abilene Christian University students in the College of Business Administration will be announcing donations to local non-profits at a reception Wednesday at 9:45 a.m. in the Mabee Business Atrium, thanks to an innovative new program that helped give them a taste of the business world.

The new program, Venture Out, gives freshman business students a chance to try their hand at business by planning, creating and managing their own business -- researching, developing, marketing, selling and eventually liquidating a product -- and donating the profits to Abilene-area non-profit organizations.

The two Introduction to Business classes at ACU both participated, totaling 240 students. The students divided into 12 groups, with each group forming its own business, and each student playing a specific role in the business.

Similar programs have taken place at only a few schools nationwide, including Bucknell University and University of Oklahoma. Dr. Monty Lynn, professor of management sciences and chair of the department of management sciences, initiated the program this year after consulting with other schools where the program had been in place.

"This is really the opening bookend for business students," Lynn said. "It gives them a chance to discover on their own the way business works, how to work together, how to research, how to interpret their findings, every aspect of business."

The 12 groups developed products ranging from lip balm holders to college guides and have raised a total of more than $1,000 so far.

Each group picked a non-profit organization in town and will donate all profits to that organization. The following organizations have been slated to receive donations as a result of the Venture Out program:

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Noah Project
  • Grace Bible Study
  • The House That Kerry Built
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • American Red Cross
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Food Bank of Abilene
  • World Trade Center Disaster Relief

The program will continue next semester so that every freshman business major will have a chance to take part. Lynn said after analyzing this year's program, a decision will be made as to whether the program will continue in the future.

"So far it's been a great success," Lynn said. "The students have really taken to it and worked hard."

More information on Venture Out is available at http://faculty.acu.edu/~lynnm/mgmt120/venture.html.

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Last update: Dec. 3, 2001

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