UMW Student-Run Business Launches Online Platform

UMW students visit an artisan in a Honduran village

The University of Mary Washington student-run business, Esfuerzo de Amor, launched an online platform to sell its products on Friday, Nov. 9. The site is the result of the combined efforts of senior Aaron Leung, UMW’s Center for Economic Development and the UMW Bookstore. Esfuerzo de Amor is run by La Ceiba MFI. The business sells its products, which are made by women in two communities in Honduras, in UMW’s bookstore and at Heritage Gifts in downtown Fredericksburg. Artisans from La Brisas and Villa Soleada craft the clutches from recycled chip bags and soda labels they find littering the area. The project, which originated in 2008, was started by UMW student Rachel Mason. Mason taught women in Siete de Abril to make the clutches; now the artisans also create bracelets, earrings, hairbands, key chains and more. The project started as a way to decrease the amount of trash burned in the streets, but has evolved into a way to help women in poverty. Seventy percent of the profit … [Read more...]

UMW Small Business Development Center Announces Basic Business Course

Eagles Nest 1

The University of Mary Washington Small Business Development Center, in partnership with Rappahannock Community College, has announced the initial course in the Hewlett Packard Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP-LIFE) program. The first level of the curriculum, “Imagine,” will begin at the Rappahannock Community College Kilmarnock Center on Thursday, Feb. 23. The program will provide computer and software technologies necessary to give ongoing training to Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula micro-entrepreneurs. The course will cover the basics of marketing, operations, communication and finance for those with no prior background in business. “Imagine” offers training on principles that help prepare the foundation for a business concept. The program explores various types of business analysis through introducing basic technologies. Upon completion of the four-week course, students will receive a certificate of completion. Classes will be held each Thursday from Thursday, … [Read more...]