Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) and the University of Minnesota have announced a new program to encourage the launch of green entrepreneurial ventures by University students. Through the "Purpose AND Profit" program, QBP will provide seed funding to new student-owned ventures that incorporate sustainable business practices AND environmental stewardship, community service, or biking advocacy. The program will be managed by the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management.
Grants of up to $5,000 will be available to current University of Minnesota students seeking to launch a business through the Holmes Center's Business Hatchery program. In addition to this new seed funding opportunity, students participating in the Business Hatchery receive legal and accounting advisory services, and mentoring from alumni and other volunteer supporters in the entrepreneurial business community.
"QBP is a great role model for this program--an extremely well-run business that also makes a tremendous impact on our community and the environment," said John Stavig, professional director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. "We're optimistic that these funds will encourage our students to apply their entrepreneurship education and make a difference in the world."
Headed by University of Minnesota alumnus Steve Flagg, QBP has grown into the largest parts and accessories distributor in the bicycle industry, serving more than 5,000 dealers nationwide. QBP is a values-centered organization where employees can achieve personal growth and work for a socially responsible business: QBP donates six percent of after-tax profits each year. Protecting the environment is part of the company's mission --its 135,000 square-foot LEED-certified office has one of the largest solar installations in Minnesota. "I am a huge believer in the principle of AND," noted Flagg. "We hope that these funds will inspire students to build great companies AND make a positive difference for their community and the environment."
Business Hatchery alums include Parag Shah, founder of Lunchbox, Joe Mullenbach and Alex Johansson, co-founders of NewWater, and Bright New Ideas founder Patrick Delaney.