Side hustle workshop inspires UI’s future entrepreneurs

The first-ever workshop, hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, presented on all things business with students, faculty, and staff.

Grace Katzer, News Reporter

The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center offered its first side hustle workshop for university students who are looking to earn more money.

The center hosted its first workshop on Wednesday, which allowed students to ask all questions they had about opening their own businesses. Out of the 25 students that attended, around half of the students were in the process of starting their own legally owned side hustle.

Bailee Fogle, a UI fourth year student studying enterprise leadership and event management, said she is currently in the process of starting her own business. Her idea began with the purchase of an empty car lot and turning it into an event storage service.

“An issue that a lot of people face is that they want to buy wedding decor for their wedding or baby shower, and then they don’t have anywhere to store it,” she said. “I’m trying to help decrease the amount of items that are bought and offer products to them at a lower price so that they can have more things that appeal to them.”

Fogle said she attended the workshop to help learn what the next steps are with her business and is excited to get started.

Jay Cooper, UI adjunct instructor of management and entrepreneurship, presented at the workshop on Wednesday. Cooper told the DI that after starting his own business, he was ready to help students embark on their own journey.

“I started the business Cider Finder in 2017 to connect people who love cider with the people who create cider,” he said. “I’ve been working on it just as a side business, which was the perfect example for students to learn from tonight.”

Cooper said in his eyes, the workshop went really well.

“There were a lot of amazing, well-thought-out questions from people with a lot of energy tonight, which was great,” he said. “This event filled up within 30 minutes of us opening the sign-up form, so I thought I’ll just run another event the next night. We want to improve what we’re doing and what we end up presenting next semester in the workshops.”

Although Wednesday was just the first night of the workshop, Cooper said he looks forward to making the workshop a regular event on campus.

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Margaux Hovda, a UI graduate student studying rehabilitation counseling, said she attended the workshop because she had many business ideas and wanted to narrow her thoughts down.

“I’ve always been in the nonprofit sector, so this workshop was good for me to get a lot of ideas on how to navigate this system and start something new,” she said. “I needed to know which direction to go in, and tonight really helped with that.”

Sharon Ho, CIMBA Italy Study Abroad Program assistant director of marketing and recruiting, was one of the only staff members who attended the workshop.

Ho said she attended the event because she wanted to expand her experience in travel to open a side hustle.

“I actually just came up with a business idea tonight,” she said. “Just listening to all of the information shared tonight was so helpful. Side hustles are definitely something I’m all for.”

Combining her interests in travel and education, Ho said she is looking to explore designing educational content for students wanting to be global citizens. She said her experience at the UI helped her gain experience in the fields she’s interested in.

“I thought it was a really interesting session,” she said. “I did learn a lot, and I can’t wait to get to the next session.”