Monday, June 6, 2016

Empowering people to build communities

Stian Kronborg, one of the students competing on behalf of the
Hawaii Pacific Entrepreneur Club, at the May 2016 Enactus
National Competition held in St. Louis, Missouri

Hawaii Pacific Entrepreneur Club (HPEC) President Stian Kronborg demonstrated a penchant for entrepreneurship as a middle school student in Siggerud, Norway.

“I was operating a small waffle stand at my local climbing club where I did everything from planning how much batter to make to setting up and breaking down, and some of the revenue I made went to the climbing club,” Kronborg said. “When I saw what impact the little stand I had there made on the community I could not stop doing it.”

The exposure to free enterprise continued in high school for Kronborg. One of his business courses had a practical portion, requiring the class to form teams to start a business and sell a product or service. Kronborg’s group sold small pizza rolls.

“During competition that year, my team made second place among at least 20 teams,” he said. “We were the only ones from my school that got into the semi-finals.”    

Now living nearly 7,000 miles away from home, Kronborg is a junior International Business major at Hawai‘i Pacific University. He is active in multiple student clubs, including the Entrepreneur Club.
One of the purposes of HPEC is to improve the quality of life for the members of its community. To this end, Kronborg and his fellow club members engage in business consulting projects for organizations and individuals. Depending on client needs, the HPU team may be involved in conducting research, drafting project plans, preparing social media plans, creating websites, among other business-oriented activities.   

“The projects we have been working on have the potential to help the community around me, which is something that I strive for every day,” he said.

The opportunity to develop professional and leadership skills through the Entrepreneur Club is another advantage, Kronborg said, acknowledging the help and support of the College of Business and Student Life. Ken Schoolland, associate professor of economics and the HPEC advisor, is a valued mentor to Kronborg.

“Thanks to our advisor, professor Ken Schoolland, I have been able to network and make connections in the academic and professional world in Honolulu,” he said. “This past year he has helped me become a better leader by giving me tips and insight in delegating tasks, conducting more efficient meetings, and making me step out of my comfort zone.”

Under the guidance of Schoolland, Kronborg and fellow HPEC members collaborated in the 2015-16 year with clients, including a Hawai‘i non-profit and several entrepreneurs. They also provided entrepreneurship coaching to Hawai‘i high school seniors who participated in the first #HPUBIZ4GOOD competition, sponsored by the HPU College of Business.

The members of the Entrepreneur Club had the opportunity to showcase their client project work through the competitions of ENACTUS, an international non-profit organization focused on entrepreneurial action. In April, the HPU team participated in the first Virtual Enactus Regional Competition and won, qualifying them for the May national competition held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bradley Eversley, Jordan Serpentini and Stian Kronborg, who were the Hawaii Pacific Entrepreneur Club
2016 Enactus National Competition competing team members, with their faculty advisor Ken  Schoolland
In addition to presenting HPEC client projects at nationals, there was a career fair and speeches by conference sponsor representatives including Walmart and The Hershey Company. There were also many opportunities to network with other university entrepreneur club teams and prominent business people. Kronborg had a conversation with a representative from Enterprise Holdings, which left a lasting impression on him.

“After World War II Enterprise started with, I believe three cars, and it is now the biggest car rental company in the world,” he said. “What I learned was that even if you start with the smallest amount of resources, you can be big with hard work and dedication.”

Kronborg said the experience of participating in nationals exceeded his expectations, and the camaraderie between the more than 100 university teams was incredible.

“Even though we all were there for competition, there was still respect among us,” he said. “We did not make it to the semi-finals  or win any awards, but in the end we all win with the projects that we do.”

For information about joining the Hawaii Pacific Entrepreneur Club: contact

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