We're proud to announce that Richard Benites of the University of California Santa Barbara, was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Grasshopper Entrepreneur Scholarship, and we couldn’t be happier for him!

The $5,000 scholarship was designed to help one active college student and young entrepreneur afford the rising cost of education and help them begin their entrepreneurial journey. The winner for 2018 was chosen based on their response to the essay topic: “How has the ‘gig economy’ had an impact on entrepreneurship in both the US and the world over the last three to five years, and what do you predict its impact will be in the next three to five years?”

We asked Richard to summarize his essay in just two sentences:

"There’s a lot of details and obstacles in the way when entrepreneurs first make their dreams into reality. Gig economies, however, help expedite and make this process much easier.”

Founded by two entrepreneurs, Grasshopper has been making it easier to start and grow a small business since 2003. Back then, Grasshopper was just two guys with a dream. Today they have helped hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their companies. Richard is a bright student with high hopes for the future, and we’re happy to award him this scholarship!

Get to know Richard, our 2018 Grasshopper Scholarship Winner:

What is one hidden talent or skill you’re exceptionally good at?

Well, academically speaking, the most praise I’ve received was due to my writing. In terms of a hidden talent or skill, I’d say my self-management has been key to success. I’ve been a student-athlete all my life, so if not for my ability to learn and strategize before any form of competition, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have to this day.

What is your dream job?

Right now I’m studying Economics at UC Santa Barbara in order to better my business expertise and in hopes of further pursuing my passion for entrepreneurism. If I had to choose a dream job, I’d love to do something in professional sports journalism!

What class are you most looking forward to taking this upcoming school year and why?

The class I’m most excited to take next year is Communications. I’m a writer for Daily Nexus, the university newspaper, and such a class can help me continue to improve journalistically. Not to mention it’s a great link to other career skills like public speaking and administration.

Describe yourself in three words.

‘Bored too quick’. As a kid, I had a habit of multitasking at all times (reading while walking was my parents’ favorite example of this because I’d bump into things). Over time, however, I realized it bolstered my creativity when it came to understanding and trying new things: like writing scholarship essays.

What is your favorite method of communication/tool and why?

Social media because it allows people and businesses to promote their image to the public. With this, a service or product can receive feedback, criticism, and better connect with their audience.

Thank you Richard. And thanks to all who applied for this year's scholarship. Until next year!