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Chronicle talks to student entrepreneur

By David Gonnerman '90
May 16, 2012

Justin Volling '12 holds a bamboo lamp woven by an artisan in Nicaragua who received a micro-loan from Opportunity International. Volling is partnering with Opportunity International to help fund small entrepreneurs, and help the entrepreneurs enter the global economy via e-commerce.

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education story, "To Develop Student Entrepreneurs, Colleges Incubate Their Ideas," highlights how entrepreneurship is growing within higher education. One of the student entrepreneurs included in the article is Justin Volling '12, who currently is developing an e-commerce business.

"Support from colleges can lead to good outcomes for students," writes Beckie Supiano. "Justin Volling, a senior at St. Olaf College, got two grants from the Minnesota institution: one for a golf camp he has since carried out, and one for an e-commerce business he's working on now. Meanwhile he landed a job as a business analyst at Target after graduation. His interviewers, he says, were impressed by his entrepreneurial experience. 

"College is a good time for that, says Mr. Volling. Students don't have shareholders to disappoint or employees to support, he says. 'It's a perfect place to actually try out your wings.'"


Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or