by Patrick Davis, District II VP
A student based enterprise, SBE, is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that providesgoods/services to meet the needs of the market. In order to function, students are in charge ofoperating their school’s SBE. Operating a SBE gives students many great opportunities. Such asproviding a first work experience. In today’s society as teenagers start to seek jobs many aredenied or beaten by a more qualified person because they have no prior work experience. Studentbased enterprises give work experience and allow students to build management, leadership andsupervision skills.
Most schools, if they have a SBE, only have one student based enterprise. However myschool, Bend Senior High, has two SBE’s the Bear’s Cave and Java Bear. The Bear’s cave is apermanent location store, located next to the school’s commons that provides clothing andelectronic accessories for students to purchase. Even though we have a store for the SBE we arealso able to take select items and set up a pop up shop at most home footballs games to helpstimulate revenue. SBE’s are not always what you want them to be. In fact when the Bear’s cavefirst opened it was most similar to a convenience store, selling drinks and snacks rather thanclothes. But, as the rules for selling editable products changed for schools and the target’s needs,also changed the store.
Adjacent to the Bear’s cave is the Java Bear, our local school wide coffee shop. The JavaBear is another permanent location with access to be turned mobile for football games. Studentsrun the Java Bear before and after school along as a ten minute passing period between the firsttwo classes. This SBE is highly valuable to those who work it allowing them coffee shopexperience that the local favorite, Dutch Bros, would like to see when hiring.
Student based enterprises are exactly as the name describes, enterprises run and for thestudents. Here at Bend High all the revenue made from both the Bear’s cave and Java Bear isdirectly returned to the DECA chapter. Approximately 65% of the money the Bend chapter usesfrom fundraising is from the SEB’s. Furthermore, as SBE’s are great opportunities for enhancingnew and/or existing skills the opportunity for a profit to be generated is directly returned back tothe chapter and members.
Does your school have an SBE? Would you like to start one? A conversation with youradvisor is a great way to spark the interest in the amazing benefits you and your chapter could obtain.
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