Affordable services and products are what college students seem to want daily. In that case, why not have a full directory similar to the yellow pages that does this?
A networking phenomenon, The Green Pages, which began at Florida A&M University, highlights student entrepreneurs and small businesses. The book’s name stems from the purpose of developing student businesses from the ground up, and making it possible for them to earn more “green.” The Green Pages began in the fall of 2006 as the brainchild of Mitch Brooks, chief executive officer and a spring 2008 graduate of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry.
Brooks, along with co-founder Jonathon Taylor, assembled different leaders on campus to build business connections.
“The Green Pages helps with business development by building clientele and lets students know what is out there,” said Taylor, 23, sales director and second year MBA student from Chicago, Ill. “It offers less expensive alternatives for commonly used purposes.”
Currently, the company distributes 15,000 copies per semester, with 53 distribution hubs at Florida State University, as well as distribution stands at FAMU and Tallahassee Community College’s student union.
Brooks, 24, a native of Washington, D.C. said with the current economy problems, this is the perfect time for students to utilize entrepreneurs to minimize costs. He explains how he spends majority of his time corresponding with Taylor, replying to emails and negotiating business deals but says it has been worth the hard work.
After Chinmaobi Onwunli was introduced to Brooks, he thought the directory was a good idea to support, and the choice helped with his small business, Chief D Photography. Onwunli, a graduating computer engineering student from Nigeria, said The Green Pages helped out with networking.
“Aside from advertising, it gave me more connections to people who also had small businesses,” he said.
He said he encourages all entrepreneurs to be visible with their business or there will be no progression.
Janelle Napier, a 2005 FAMU MBA candidate and a small business entrepreneur, said The Green Pages was the only form of written advertisement for her business.
“People would come up to me on The Set and say they heard about me through green pages,” said the Tallahassee native.
A jewelry designer, Napier began perfecting her craft by specializing in custom jewelry and selling them for different occasions. She credits most of her success to The Green Pages and encourages college students to do what they enjoy the most.
“It is really important that students remember to follow their dreams and do what they love,” Napier said.
This semester, the two-year-old company will initiate The Green Pages Reward Card Program. To qualify for the $500 book scholarship being offered, three signatures from any listed entrepreneur in The Green Pages fall 2008 issue is required.
For more information on student entrepreneurship and small business opportunities, visit thegreenpagesbd.com.