Symiah Dorsey/The Lion’s Roar
In a time of economic uncertainty, student organizations have banded together to show support for students with small businesses.
The Black Student Union and the university’s chapter of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have collaborated to host the Fall Pop-Up Shop, an event designed to highlight student entrepreneurs.
Taking place virtually throughout the week of Nov. 9-13, students will have the chance to promote their businesses as well as support others.
The pop-up shop was in high demand, according to Alana Collins, a senior kinesiology major and president of NAACP.
“I was asked by multiple members and friends to plan a pop-up shop for small businesses that were either created during the COVID-19 quarantine or were already a business before COVID,” shared Collins. “One day, Taylor, who is BSU’s president, and I were conversing about events, and the topic came up and we decided to collaborate on this event for all students to participate in.”
Taylor DeBourg, a senior kinesiology major and president of BSU, explained that plans for an in-person version of the Fall Pop-Up Shop are also underway.
“We do plan on having an in-person Fall Pop-Up Shop, but those details are still in the works,” explained DeBourg. “With COVID-19, the planning process is very intentional and strategic to keep everyone safe. With two amazing orgs partnering up, the commitment, dedication and organization to the Fall Pop-Up Shop makes getting tasks done easier.”
Collins shared the various types of businesses that the event has accumulated.
“We have had a humongous amount of interest for this fall’s pop-up shop,” detailed Collins. “Most of the owners are ranging from freshmen to seniors. I believe there will be businesses that display cosmetic items, clothing, hair, custom items, accessories, etc. You just have to come out and see for yourself.”
For Collins, establishing a support system in these unpredictable times is an important task.
“I believe it is important to highlight small businesses on campus because students should be able to network on the campus that they put into financially,” expressed Collins. “Also, economically, the country is in an unpredictable situation, so many rely on their business for income. I believe that it is important to be that vessel to allow black or minority talent to flourish here on this campus, especially during this time in our country’s history where we are under a very fine microscope.”
Brought together by one mission, the two organizations have aimed to be an outlet for students to support each other.
“During this time, most people started their business over quarantine for profit,” said DeBourg. “We wanted to highlight the talent that a lot of these students have in their small businesses. As two of the biggest Black organizations on campus, we thought it was extremely important to be that outlet for Black students to highlight their businesses. We have to support each other at a time where we sometimes don’t feel the support from others.”
For more information on how to participate in the Fall Pop-Up Shop, send a direct message to BSU @bsu_slu or NAACP @selunaacp via Instagram.