Cultivate is a student organization sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development. The organization's mission is to support entrepreneurs and small businesses by the empowerment of student entrepreneurs and collaboration with small businesses. Cultivate empowers students to be valuable, problem-solving members of their workplace. Additionally, resources and guidance are available to student entrepreneurs who desire to start their own businesses. Members partner will local businesses to help them solve problems they are currently facing, which promotes networking throughout the community.

The vision of UNK Cultivate is to establish itself as a professional and recognized a link between the University and the surrounding Kearney business community, as well as a resource for entrepreneurs and students from diverse programs. 

Small Business Support 

At the beginning of each term, Cultivate members evaluate a number of collaboration opportunities and vote on a local business to partner with. Once a given entity is selected, members visit the establishment and meet the managerial staff. The staff members inform Cultivate of their current situation, including any difficulties their business is facing. Throughout the course of the semester, members brainstorm innovative solutions, ideate an attainable action plan, and pitch it to the partnering business. 

Cultivate High School Program

Through a one day program, members teach the Cultivate model to high school students. Students will be grouped with a Cultivate member and guided through a number of engaging exercises evaluating a local business. The groups will apply the Cultivate model by brainstorming potential solutions to the problems the given business is facing.

Global Connection

Over the three-week-term between semesters during January (J-term), UNK is offering students an opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. Students enrolled in MGT- 474, taught by Lisa Tschauner, will implement the Cultivate model by taking a hands-on approach to learning entrepreneurship and design thinking. The group will travel to Ireland the last week of class and work with a business in Spiddal to help them address current issues with tourism."

For more information, contact:

Austin Truex, President truexaj@lopers.unk.edu

Jordan Schnell, Vice President schnellj@lopers.unk.edu