The votes have been tallied, and a winner has been selected in the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s Biz Kid$ Entrepreneur Contest. WEOKIE Credit Union and its partnering school, Yukon Middle School, won for Squish ‘Ems, a Consumer Co-Operative Company.
Led by Teysa Woodward, the students put their heart and soul into their school-sponsored and student-run business. After conducting thorough research, Woodward’s classroom determined that 69 percent of students reported experiencing worry over a test, and 68 percent responded that they would use a tool to help them when they were worried about taking a test.
After learning these valuable findings, the students created their overall vision to develop a product that enables students to have positive experiences in test taking without added stress and anxiety.
Their product, Squish ‘Ems, is a stress ball made from socks, beans, and essential peppermint oil. Their research indicated that peppermint oil helped with focus during stressful moments. After careful deliberation, they chose to partner with Young Living. Their target market is the student body within Yukon Public School District, ranging from third to eighth grade.
What truly sets them apart from other companies is they have chosen to be a Consumer Co-Operative based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. They have a board of directors headed by a CEO. They strive to make sure all of the seven principles of cooperation are met and held to the highest standards.
Members of the cooperative will receive profit sharing, while all other proceeds will be used for school scholarships.
A very special thank you to the following credit unions for participating in this year’s contest, partially funded by the National Credit Union Foundation:
- Credit Union of Texas
- FirstLight FCU
- My Community CU
- North East Texas CU
- Texas Bridge CU
- TruService Community FCU
Select classrooms worked with their partner credit unions to create a complete business plan and then presented those plans to an impartial local panel of judges. Only one presentation from each credit union could be submitted for final competition.
As the winner, the Yukon Middle School class will receive a classroom celebration of their choice, funds to purchase a special gift for their business, a tablecloth personalized with the company’s logo, a celebratory banner for the classroom, certificates, and trophies.
Educator Teysa Woodward will also receive a $250 gift card. WEOKIE Credit Union will receive a $1,200 grant to purchase Biz Kid$ box set DVDs or a gift to the school.
“We are thrilled with the continued success of this program and grateful to the National Credit Union Foundation for the opportunity," said Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran. "Students, educators, and credit unions collaborated in a meaningful way; and drawing on each other’s strengths, all classrooms came up with creative and detailed business plans. I’m confident this experience made an impression on students, and having gone through this exercise, they have a better sense of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Perhaps more importantly, they understand how important it is as a consumer and small business owner to have that credit union relationship."