Palmer Center Fellow Ben Anderson Launches New Businesses
Ben Anderson (JD/MBA ’10) was the kid with a lemonade stand. Cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit early on, he has written award-winning business plans, formed a production company, and set up a licensing agreement with a distributor to sell eco-friendly coffee carriers. His most recent achievement is a new cause marketing company called One Click World.
A soon-to-be-graduate, Anderson leaves Pepperdine with a JD/MBA and a certificate from the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law. He embarked on the program after graduating from UCLA and after speaking with Professor Janet Kerr about his hopes to connect business and law.
“After starting a few ventures in my early 20s, I felt limited in my understanding of certain aspects of business,” he says. “I’ve always liked to be able to understand each component of the activities I was involved in, and I felt that getting a JD/MBA was the next inevitable step in that process.”
Seeing the value of the dual degree, Anderson began the four-year program. As a law student, he had several internships at firms and served as in-house legal assistant at First Independent Pictures. As a business student, his team entered a plan in Pepperdine’s annual business plan competition, where they were $2,500 finalists.
Called Chipinshop.com, the plan proposed an online registry destination in which friends and family could “chip in” toward a big-ticket item for someone. Anderson got the idea after a friend’s baby shower, where all the smaller items on the registry were purchased, while the stroller and car seat were not.
“Scaling a company is the most challenging part of any venture. Why would you want to be anywhere else?” he says.
Aside from scaling a company, Anderson enjoys talking about how businesses can better their customer service. “Improving services and products can differentiate you from the competition and improve your receptiveness with the consumers in that market to increase or maintain market share,” he says. “Depending upon how products are improved, it can also be a way of lowering costs. In the case of the automotive industry, Toyota's innovation of team-based work in plant building sped up the output and lowered the workers needed while increasing efficiency.”
Anderson considers himself a socially minded entrepreneur and is excited about the trends in social entrepreneurship. “I think that businesses have finally caught up to the adage that ‘we leave this world for our children,’” he says. “It has always been one of my core beliefs that someday I would be able to align my passion for helping people into a viable occupation.”
His new venture, One Click World, which is scheduled to launch in October, is a Web site that promotes charities. “In a nutshell, it is an online cause marketing company that connects businesses and charities. Strategically, we use topical charities to maximize consumer participation to differentiate ourselves from the competition,” he says.
“I’ve always wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and because of that, my interests have gravitated toward the building of businesses and understanding what types of people it takes for a venture to be successful,” Anderson explains. “You should always do what you’re passionate about and for me, the steps that go into creating a business plans, starting a business, and running it, have always got me up in the morning.”
After graduation, Anderson will start work at the Los Angeles firm Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley, in their entertainment and intellectual property division, where he is excited to learn about business from a legal perspective.