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 five, 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 pancake breakfasts and car washes to dog walking and odd jobs, 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 members of Men at Work, Inc. took home first-year honors for the project. The team, led by Grace Community Schools Senior Alden Warr, succeeded in raising more than $2,100 for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. The remaining Men At Work, Inc. team members included Cole Paxson, Keaton Yeatts, Jeremy Thames, Grant Childress, Eduardo Serratos, and Redis Jones.
Men At Work, Inc. bested their four competitors with two successful car washes held on March 3 and 24. The team narrowly edged out T-Town Running, an errand and odd jobs service business, by just $31.00 to claim the top prize. “T-Town” was led by the team’s chief executive officer and All Saints Episcopal Senior Javi Virk.
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 addition to Habitat for Humanity, the Fortune 100 Project teams successfully raised more than $6,100 for four other area organizations, including The Salvation Army, Humane Society of Smith County, Refuge of Light, and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Texas Bank and Trust will make a monetary contribution to the winning team’s designated charity.
Established in Tyler in 2009, 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. The Student Board program is currently open to incoming seniors at All Saints Episcopal, Grace Community, John Tyler, Tyler Lee, and Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional High Schools.