Student Business is Blooming

UAC-CP Agronomy student Alejandro Lidio Apaza

Alejandro Lidio Apaza’s business is booming–or blooming, rather.

When the 23-year-old entrepreneur first considered flower production as a viable business possibility, he did some investigating first.

“I checked to see how much the seeds cost, researched the life cycle of lilies, and determined additional costs of things such as fertilizer, transportation, and my time.” The numbers, he said, added up.

After interviewing flower sellers in area markets to better understand the supply chain and local demand and securing a 33,000 square foot plot of land near the College, Lidio purchased a box of 600 lily bulbs to plant. “Then I waited three months for them to grow and bloom.” His success was immediate.

Now, as soon as the flowers are about to bloom, the fourth-year Agronomy student moves quickly to sell them. “I have about one week to sell my product,” he said. He sells in three nearby towns that each have weekly markets that serve as commercial hubs for rural farmers.

Although he originally planned to sell just cut flowers, Lidio has learned that there is also a market for potted lilies. While he gets about $2 for cut flowers, he sells his potted lilies for $3 each.

As he’s watched the success of his business grow, Lidio is now considering ways to expand. He’s receiving guidance from the UAC-CP’s Business Institute to help develop a marketing strategy, which will include a name, logo, and advertising plan for his business.

The Business Institute also challenges him to think of ways to diversify. “I’m looking to re-invest in other types of flowers, such as roses, tulips, etc.,” he said.

In the meantime, his business allows him to not only pay for his coursework at the UAC-CP, but Lidio has also generated employment for classmates. “It’s a good feeling!”

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