The Northwestern Alumni Association recently developed an Alumni-Owned Small Business Directory to help connect and support Northwestern alumni who own small businesses.
The directory, which launched this month, includes more than 400 small businesses owned by alumni. Directory submissions are verified and approved by the Northwestern Alumni Association.
Northwestern Alumni Association president-elect Larry Irving (Weinberg ’76) said that during the pandemic people want to come together and support small businesses, especially those owned by members of the Northwestern community.
âWe know small businesses are hurting,â Irving said. âAnd if we can help our small businesses in the Northwestern community, that’s a powerful thing. I’m glad we were able to sort this out quickly. I think it will only get bigger.
Irving, who said he was a “fan” of independent bookstores and local craft breweries, said he found small businesses owned by alumni through the directory he planned to visit during his visits. next trips.
Melissa Zimmerman (Communication ’07) owns It’s A Cuppie, a cupcake company selling “cuppies”, which are cupcakes with cookies inside. Since the start of the pandemic, Zimmerman has said more and more people are ordering cuppies shipments and sending them to friends or relatives for birthdays and holidays.
Zimmerman said she hopes the directory will increase the number of orders. She said she also enjoys being part of a network of NU alumni who own small businesses.
âI like to feel connected to my school this way,â Zimmerman said. “Especially now when everyone is struggling, to say the least, I think it’s a great idea to support other alumni.”
With trips canceled and borders closed, Iman Childs (Communication ’14) said no money was being transacted through his travel consulting company, Booked by Iman. Childs said she is currently focused on creating more digital content for her business and growing her online audience.
Childs said she sees the directory as a great opportunity to educate Northwestern alumni about her business. Although she hasn’t seen any monetary impact since listing in the directory, Childs said she has seen people click and browse her website following the directory.
Jennifer Kaifesh (Weinberg ’03) is the founder of Great Expectation College Prep, which helps high school students navigate their high school experience and the college admissions process. Kaifesh said she decided to submit her business to the directory primarily to stay connected to the NU community.
“I think that’s just what makes the school special is that they go out of their way to create this, when there is no real benefit to the school itself,” Kaifesh said. “It’s for the community, which is lovely and that’s exactly why I love school.”
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