Some business students at MacEwan University hope to help both students and local businesses through a new enterprise in the Capital Region.
Student U was launched as a project for Connor Tougas and his classmates’ business class but could end up turning into careers for the students.
“Our goal is to help local businesses and communities in Edmonton and the surrounding area by donating our profits to local charities,” explained Tougas, a MacEwan University student and Sherwood Park resident.
Student U builds relationships with local businesses and gets them on board with offering deals through the Student U card to students.
“We have a couple of businesses that are giving us deals on different products and services they sell and we take some of that for the business and donate some to the Zebra Foundation and the Stollery,” Tougas said.
Right now, there are a few businesses in Sherwood Park that have got on board with the student business including Headquarters Restaurant and Emerald Hills Eye Care. Tougas hopes as the company grows, more businesses will want to get involved.
“We offer 25 per cent off all food from HQ and Emerald Hills Eye Care is offering us 20 per cent off eyewear and 10 per cent off contacts,” he said, adding that the discounts can really help students who make little or no money and have tuition, bills, student loans and other financial hurdles.
“The business is geared to the student-based demographic in the capital region right now,” he said. “This card, which gets you the discounts, is being made by students for students.”
Tougas, who graduated from Salisbury High School, said the student company has 500 cards that they will begin selling after their launch on Friday, Oct. 25.
“We have a few cards out there right now and hope to get more out,” he said. “They are $10 per card and we will be selling them to any (post-secondary) student demographic in the Edmonton and surrounding area.”
Tougas noted students seem to really like the idea and his professor is now on board.
“We had our prof not really understand what we were doing but they keep on asking us questions every week about what our idea and intentions are and they are starting to get a better hold of it and have a better understanding of where our idea is coming from now and they all like it and think it will succeed,” he said.
The business students plan to develop the start-up in three phases. The first is getting businesses on board and the cards into student’s hands in the Edmonton-area. The second phase, according to Tougas, is focused on app development, which aims to make the Student U discount card digital and more environmentally friendly because of less waste. The final phase of their business plan is to expand outside of the capital region and into the rest of the province and eventually, the rest of the country.
Those interested in finding out more about the card or their business should check out their Instagram account at @StudentU__.