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Bentley University Students Use Business and Art Skills to Help Boost Sales for Nonprofit
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“Wicked good” cookies are on the menu for Bentley University students who are finding ways to boost retail sales for Kidz b Kidz, a nonprofit that brings children together to create art to benefit sick children. Things got creative as students designed artwork that was featured on cookies sold by KBK partner Wicked Good Cookies at Bentley’s Black United Fashion Show in early March.
Artwork aside, students in the Integrated Business Project course are developing a business plan for KBK that addresses marketing, operations and finance operations that they will present to company executives.
“Students are cultivating ideas to promote online sales and identify retailers that are a good fit,” says John Shepherd, senior lecturer in economics. “A lot of their focus is on the use of social media and branding.”
They are also helping ensure consistency between the mission statement and actual business model, given KbK’s two-fold strategy to develop empathy in young people and to raise money for children’s disease research.
Forming student teams that include a mix of talent has proven benefits for both learning and business development.
“The collaboration of many majors helps create ideas within group members and helps each student to think outside of their expertise,” says Bentley junior Simone Silvera. “It has been very insightful to work with a group of students with such strong and intelligent ideas. I am an Accounting major, so it is very helpful to have students who study the marketing movements of companies.”
Silvera’s experience with KBK and Wicked good Cookies took on an extended role. As director of the Black United Body's Annual Fashion Show — which features various designers and vendors from all over the Northeast area — she created an anti-bullying theme to raise awareness of events that affect not only students and young people, but people in work environments, at home and at school.
“My goal was to have long-lasting impact over students and people all over Boston,” she observes. “I brought KBK on as a vendor to sell Wicked Good Cookies products not with pictures of empathy, but pictures of love, peace and hope — all signs of anti-bullying.”
Shepherd says he is not surprised by the high level of student engagement. “Millennials have a higher likelihood to both buy cause products and volunteer in cause programs. For some students the project has even sparked an interest in careers in cause marketing and the non-profit sector.”
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu.