A campus credit union to deposit and borrow money is the idea a team of undergraduate students in Albany State’s College of Business conceived. The students took the plan to a competition of graduate students and walked away with a sixth place finish for the concept that supports community development on the local level. The group participated in the Opportunity Funding Corporation Innovation and Entrepreneurship National Business Plan Competition held April 18-21 in Atlanta. This is the first time ASU students placed for development of a business venture. They also, received high marks for presentation and the overall written plan to operate the member-owned financial cooperative they named, the Ram Nation Federal Credit Union.
“The opportunity to participate in the OFC Entrepreneurship and Innovation weekend is a valuable experience for the business majors. Our students were able to network and have face-to-face time with real world professionals. Win, lose or draw, all of the students are winners and have gained valuable experience that will serve them well in future business endeavors,” said Thelma-Adams Johnson competition coordinator and part-time instructor.
(From left: Seung-Yean Won, senior management major, Thelma Adams-Johnson, advisor, Kareem Ali, senior accounting major, Paulette Webb, senior management major, Regent Larry R. Ellis, University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Samantha Reese, senior accounting major, Adante Adams, junior accounting major, Robert Robinson, sophomore dual marketing and mass communication major and Dr. Fidelis Ikem, Dean, ASU College Business.)
The Opportunity Funding Corporation is a not-for profit corporation which was created in 1970 to facilitate the ownership of for-profit business entities. Through the organization, a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum is developed to prepare students for entrepreneurship.
“Our team planned the credit union to focus on people who don’t have a sufficient understanding about banking and people who lack trust in banks. We followed basic credit union guidelines. I researched realistic expenses for computers, software, hardware, furniture, salaries, and a vault,” said senior, management major Seung Yean Won.
We had to find the comparative advantages of our credit union over Doco, [Doco Regional Federal Credit Union] and other major banks. One advantage of ours was a series of seminars to teach people more about banking and its importance,” Won added.
Won, Adante Adams, junior accounting major, Kareem Ali, senior accounting major, Samantha Reese, senior management major, Robert Robinson, sophomore dual marketing and mass communication major and Paulette Webb, senior management major also participated in seminars and networked with industry leaders from Sam’s Club, Walmart, Owens Corning and Adecco.
The University of West Indies earned first place in the competition, while Southern University came in second.
For more information contact the Albany State University Office of University Communications at (229)-430-4671.