Entrepreneurship with a Purpose

The Market and our makers were recently highlighted by University Relations. We couldn't be prouder to partner with our alumni-owned businesses!

Alumni Market: A Sales Platform for Entrepreneurial Alumni

One of the only alumni markets among universities in the nation, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s MN Alumni Market originated from a desire to help alumni businesses gain exposure to a U of M community of more than 500,000 living alumni. The market brings together more than 65 alumni businesses and their products within one shopping environment. Those businesses range from Fair Anita and Peace Coffee to Vetiver Solutions and Woodchuck USA.

During the pandemic, some of these alumni businesses, such as Woodchuck USA, (owner pictured above), shifted their focus to help out in a time of crisis.

And the Alumni Market itself began selling face masks produced by Synergy Imports—donating one mask for every one sold to medical patients and their family caregivers as well as U of M students in on-campus housing. To date they’ve donated nearly 30,000 face masks, which in turn produced an 800+ percent increase in sales for alumni businesses.

“There is something so powerful there, especially during a terrible year for small businesses,” says Lisa Huber, senior director of marketing and partnerships for the Alumni Association. “Despite it all, the market found ways to uplift entrepreneurs of all sizes in an effort to drive support to our alumni.”

Check out the full story and more successful entrepreneurship articles here.

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