What do 10,000 high school students, 1,500 college students and a handful of International Franchise Association-member companies have in common? The answer is DECA. DECA is an organization dedicated to educating young people in marketing, entrepreneurship and business management. A number of IFA members, through cooperative efforts with the IFA Educational Foundation, have been working to educate DECA students and their advisors about franchising.
These efforts start with high school students in a program sponsored by 7-Eleven and the Coca-Cola Company. The program provides classroom materials, teacher aids, and a national competitive event to stimulate high school students' interest in franchising as a business model and as a career choice.
Each year students in more than 5,000 DECA high school chapters receive a poster and educational materials about franchising. Students work with their advisors to prepare a business plan for starting a franchise business. These papers are submitted for judging at the local, state and national level. Winners at the national level receive trophies and cash awards at DECA's international conference.
This year's top 10 Entrepreneurship Franchising Winners were: First Place--Jake Bryan, Lake City High School, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho ($1,000 award); Second Place--Brent Pfeiffer, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Kent, Ohio ($500 award); and Third Place--Bianca Cafferata, Sickels High School, Tampa, ($250 award).
Seven finalists won $100 awards: Becca Bolender, Western Brown High School, Mount Orab, Ohio; Caleb Spivak, Warner Robins, Ga. High School; Gurvinder Toor, Turner Fention High School, Ontario, Canada; Abhinan Swahney, Glenforest High School, Ontario, Canada; Indigo Starr, Clarkston, Wash. High School, John McKee, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Tony Patterson, Cedar Falls, Iowa High School.
The foundation and DECA program provides competition at the college level where students compete in teams in the Entrepreneurship Academy. Students participate at DECA's international conference in a workshop on "Franchise Opportunities-How To Turn Your Entrepreneurial Venture Into A Success." The PepsiCo Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation sponsored the Entrepreneurship Academy competitive event in Orlando in April and the "Introduction to Franchising" booklet, sponsored by Pepsi, was distributed to all conference participants.