Student Board Members Launch Small Businesses to Benefit Local Charities
Members of the 2011-2012 Texas Bank and Trust Student Board of Directors (SBOD) tested their money management skills this year with a hands-on exercise in running their own small business. The Fortune 100 Project, a first for the bank’s Student Board program, offered SBOD members a real-world simulation in entrepreneurship. The students were divided into sixteen, seven-member teams, and asked to launch a small business between March 1 – March 31 with a $100 “micro-loan” from the bank.
Proceeds from each business were designated for charitable organizations chosen by the students. From bake sales and car washes to dog walking and babysitting, the students selected businesses from an approved list. The team with the highest net profits after repaying their loan was named “TBT’s Small Business of the Year” at the final Student Board meeting in April.
The fourteen members of Texas Bank and Trust Student Holding Group took home first-year honors for the project. The team, borne out of a merger between two smaller teams – Sails for Tails and Cups for Pups, succeeded in raising more than $1,300 for the Gregg County Humane Society. The team bested nine other competitors with two successful car washes and a cupcake sale during March. When asked about the unexpected merger, Pine Tree High School Senior Nathan Wood explained, “This was supposed to be a real world simulation, and mergers happen every day in the real world. So, we thought (merging) would give us the best opportunity to win.” Mr. Wood served as chief executive officer of the merged team. The remaining winning team members include Hayley Cook, Tanner Carroll, Samantha Hutchison, Kasey McGough, and Taylor Polk from Pine Tree; Maggie Littlejohn, Wesley Malcolm, Colton McCasland, Angel Reed, and Karis Warren from Longview; and Katie Clark, Caleb Jones, and Nikki Nesbitt from Spring Hill High School.
Through the nine-month program, the student directors learned to develop business plans, set up a budget, and manage their operations, to include advertising and customer service. Each team was also paired with a TB&T officer to serve as an advisor.
In total, six area organizations will receive proceeds from the Fortune 100 Project businesses. Texas Bank and Trust will make a monetary contribution to the winning team’s designated charity.
Established in 1978, TB&T’s Student Board program is designed to introduce students to banking and money management at a critical point in their lives, and provide them with essential economic building blocks related to earning, spending, saving, and investing money. More than 1,600 East Texas high school seniors have participated in the program since its inception.