Insight Into Some of DECA’s Non-traditional School-based Enterprises
A school-based enterprise (SBE) is an entrepreneurial venture within the school setting that operates like a small business. Students are actively engaged in designing, organizing and managing the enterprise's day-to-day operations, with support from school personnel. Many DECA chapters have a school-based enterprise, and we wanted to highlight a few unique SBEs that have emerged due to a particular product or service demand in their school or community. These two non-traditional SBEs are gold-certified through DECA's School-based Enterprise Chapter Certification Program.
Gesa Credit Union
Contributed by Kimberly Schneider, DECA Advisor | Pasco DECA Chapter, WA
The Gesa Credit Union is a retail SBE at Pasco High School in Pasco, Washington. Our Gesa Credit Union was gold-certified in the 2018-2019 school year. It can be challenging because we are not an actual retail store and have to be creative on how to complete all aspects of the SBE requirements.
We operate as a real functioning credit union with services such as withdrawals, deposits and check cashing and we are entirely student ran. However, we cannot print debit cards or perform services like loans. Our clients are both students and staff of Pasco High School.
We are open during both lunches and have tellers, customer service positions and a branch manager. The manager is a PHS student but also a paid intern through Gesa. She helps train the students and runs the branch daily, along with working part-time at one of the main credit union branches.
The credit union is part of a class called Banking and Financial Services. These classes are intentionally smaller so students can get as much work experience as possible. We focus on financial literacy, promoting handling your money responsibly and essential workplace skills. We run several types of promotions a year to open accounts and to teach the rest of the student body about financial literacy. It is a lot of fun because the students get to put their marketing skills to the test as we compete with the other local high school branches for the number of accounts opened.
Contributed by Brian McFall, DECA Advisor | Washburn Rural High School, KS
The WRHS Bank is a retail SBE at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas. We promote and provide an educational environment where employees can freely express innovative ideas and ways to improve our services to the WRHS student body, staff and community. We provide customers with the best banking environment while educating them about responsible financial practices.
The Washburn Rural High School Bank opened for business in August 2005 and has been in operation for 16 years. The WRHS Bank is a student-run organization to educate the WRHS student body on financial literacy and other finance topics. Along with educating students, the bank handles the finances of our student-run businesses in the school, club dues, and play and dance tickets. Currently, the bank is run by three seniors, six juniors and one teacher.
The bank was opened and sponsored by Silver Lake Bank, which provided the bank with start-up cash and equipment; it continues to offer training for the staff each year. The WRHS bank only offers savings accounts and has a current interest rate of 0.35%, the highest interest rate in Topeka. The WRHS Bank has opened approximately 1060 accounts since its creation, 350 of them being opened in the past two years. The accounts are open to any student in USD 437, staff at WRHS, clubs, sports, the WRHS Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and local businesses within the school. In 2013 we started our saving and investing program, the Jr. Blue Crew. We are encouraging students to save their money every month. Account holders need to make a $7.00 deposit each month to become eligible for the monthly prizes and the grand prize investment of $500 at the end of the school year.