Running a student business during COVID-19
By Courtney M. Jackson | Student Writer
Loyola Limited transforms students into leaders by providing them with unparalleled experiential learning opportunities in entrepreneurship and small business management. Students are empowered to create, develop, manage, and lead business ventures that benefit the multiple communities they serve.
Loyola Limited’s five student-run businesses range from a bike shop to a pub.
“At Loyola Limited, we strive to empower undergraduates with hands-on experiences that positively impact our communities while achieving financial success,” says Loyola Limited President Blake Larys (BBA `21). “The past year and its obstacles have motivated Loyola Limited to look for innovative ways to continue growing our team and student-run businesses, like integrating a hybrid structure across the enterprise and expanding our non-operational activities.”
Loyola Limited presidents sound off
Below, the Loyola Limited presidents discuss what it is like running a business during the pandemic and their plans for the year.
The nation’s first student-run bike shop, Chainlinks promotes sustainability through clean bicycle transportation.
President Sydney Seufzer (BBA `23)
“Reopening Chainlinks has been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects I’ve worked on. Chainlinks has always been a welcoming place to learn and grow and I am excited to back to normal operations.
“While we were temporarily closed due to COVID-19, we took the opportunity to re-evaluate the business structure and use a new online booking service for bike rentals. We offer students and the surrounding community the ability to explore Chicago with bike rentals, used bikes for sale, and bike repairs.”
inQbate helps small businesses and organizations build reach and develop a strategic marketing strategy.
President Caili Murphy (BBA `24)
“I am looking forward to continuing my first academic year as president of inQbate and excited about onboarding new clients in the Rogers Park/Edgewater business districts. Since we worked largely on grandfathered projects during the summer, my team is eager for fresh accounts to service! We also have our largest staff to date with several senior members so I will get to witness that shift and establish the future of the agency.”
Ireland’s Pub 10 is a space where anyone can come to grab something to eat, drink, and relax.
President Grace Higbie (BBA `22)
“Ireland’s is excited to be back for spring! After a semester of fine tuning our menu, reconnecting with students, and planning our first events back in person, we’re ready to make spring even better. Students can expect monthly Tap Takeovers where we partner with local Chicago breweries and feature 3 of their best craft beers.
“Since our grilled cheeses were such a hit, we’ll now be featuring a grilled cheese of the month, carefully crafted for the perfect snack to pair with a local brew. Also, basketball season is in full swing, so stop by Ireland’s for pregame and to celebrate post-game! As always, all ages are invited to use Ireland’s to hang out with friends, play pool or ping pong, attend events, and study.”
The Flats is a 10-unit guesthouse that offers a condo and a city experience.
President Kamdyn Rhodes (BS `23)
“The pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry was devastating and to keep The Flats running, we decided to expand the option for short-term leases for Loyola students and faculty.
“Along the way, we expanded our team from four to seven students, allowing more students to get hands-on experience that will hopefully prepare them for post-graduation jobs. We are excited to utilize the talents that everyone brings while trying to explore new and innovative avenues. We are excited to continue building the business and we hope to bring The Flats to a new level of success and visibility.”
The Wolf’s Kettle is a concession stand providing food for fans at Gentile Arena, Loyola Soccer Park, and Loyola Softball Park.
President Luca Pascale (BBA `22)
“Reopening has been very exciting! It’s been great seeing so many students coming to the games. It’s been a long and challenging process to get everything ready, especially for the busier months of games. Now with a bigger team, we are very excited for the rest of the year – especially the continued implementation of sponsors and ensuring the overall game experience for fans is as smooth as possible.”
Have a business idea? Students are invited to pitch their business ideas to the New Business Venture leadership team.
President Sal Carfagno (BS `22)
“What I am excited about most this year is the opportunity to bring a new and exciting concept to Loyola, Rogers Park, and surrounding communities. We are currently in the process of putting together the official business plan of our new business venture and hope to bring the community this organization by the next academic year! I am also excited to have the opportunity to get other Loyola students involved in the process of creating a business from the ground up!”
Loyola Limited is a member of the Loyola Business Leadership Hub within Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business.