The votes have been tallied and a winner has been selected in the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s BizKid$ Entrepreneur Contest. WEOKIE Credit Union and its partnering school, Irving Middle School, won for their Cougar Activity Store.
Led by Dana Stroud, the students put their heart and soul into their school-sponsored and student-run business. Stroud’s classroom took notice that most students were bringing their own balls or activities to recess, when they are prohibited from doing so because of theft and bouncing balls in hallways, etc. After conducting a survey of 126 students, it was determined that students would pay to rent sports equipment to play with during the post-lunch recess.
The Cougar Activity Store’s inventory consists of basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, kick balls and a kickball set, and footballs. Any profits will roll over into new inventory, based on equipment used and demand for new and different activities. The remainder of profits will be donated to the school for playground improvements and upkeep. The students saw a need in their school and acted accordingly, just as a true entrepreneur would.
"Working with WEOKIE Credit Union Foundation has been a wonderful real-world experience for the students here at Irving Middle School," said Stroud, the winning Irving Middle School educator. "The BizKid$ Entrepreneur Competition gave our students an opportunity for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and working creatively. Through trial and error, focus and dedication, their project evolved into something truly impressive and something the students are very proud to be a part of."
"The students had fun with their first venture into the world of business," Stroud continued. "I expect these students will use this adventure and apply it as they continue on with their entrepreneurial endeavors."
Credit Union of Texas, FirstLight FCU, FivePoint CU, InTouch Credit Union, North East Texas CU, and People’s Trust FCU participated in this year’s program, funded by a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation.
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.
The D.A. Hulcy STEAM Middle School team, in partnership with Credit Union of Texas, submitted the “In Da Know Mobile App.”
Hamshire-Fannett Middle School, in partnership with FivePoint CU, submitted “Bidder’s Bites.”
Mesa Vista Elementary School, in partnership with FirstLight FCU, submitted “Leading Leopards Homework Club.”
Jefferson Junior High in partnership with North East Texas CU submitted “Nevaeh’s Door."
Harmony School of Business, in partnership with InTouch CU, submitted “Boomin’ Fruits.”
Olle Middle School, in partnership with People’s Trust FCU, submitted “Tech Kidz.”
"WEOKIE Credit Union Foundation, founded in 2007 in part to promote financial literary education, offers classroom presentations aligned to Oklahoma Academic Standards in grades 2-12 called MoneyTalk$," said Brent Rempe, WEOKIE director of education. "WEOKIE jumped at the chance to participate in the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s BizKid$ Entrepreneurship Competition."
"WEOKIE’s Education Team found the BizKid$ Competition to be a high-touch, high-impact program," Rempe continued. "The student participants brought energy and excitement to the credit union, especially on the day of the competition. WEOKIE’s Education Team will work with Irving students to ensure a successful launch of their business plan. We are extremely proud of and excited for the Irving Middle School (Norman Public Schools) team and look forward to seeing the Cougar Activities Store in action.”
As the winner, the Irving Middle School class will receive a classroom celebration of their choice, funds to purchase the company’s copyright, a tablecloth personalized with the company’s logo, a celebratory banner for the classroom, certificates, and trophies.
Educator Dana Stroud will also receive a $500 gift card to Office Depot or the office supply company of her choice. WEOKIE Credit Union will receive a $1,500 grant to purchase BizKid$ box set DVDs, in turn donating to libraries, schools, after-school programs, etc. on their behalf.
“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."