The juicy details, ASO funds startup

A cup of juice may help a Pierce student on their path to success in the business world.

The Business Economics Student Association (BESA) club received $20,000 from ASO to fund a juice club project that will serve as a directed study course.

Kaycea Campbell, BESA faculty advisor, said the intention of the juice club was to provide students with an opportunity to get a hands-on feel for what it’s like to operate a business.

“The basic idea behind the juice club was to create a lab for economic and business students to practice what they learned in class by actually running a business,” Campbell said.

BESA executives and faculty advisor Campbell helped develop the idea. ASO President Amir Haghi said the proposal brought to the table by BESA demonstrated value that was worth the investment.

“BESA presented a business plan for the juice club that showed potential,” Haghi said. “This is something unique and very valuable in college, because it is a student-run business. So, ASO decided to fund the project.”

Ahmad Jiha, vice president of BESA, said the juice club seemed like a prudent approach to launching a business lab.

“We obtained funding for what we like to call our ‘student entrepreneurship funding’,” Jiha said. “We decided to start off with a juice club because it seemed like an easy way to get a foot in the door. A juice cart is simple because it does not require any licenses. It’s something we can start fast and does not take much initial investment.”

Jiha pointed out that juice is an item that would be an easy sell.

“It is very hot in Southern California,” Jiha said. “When people come out of class, we can offer a refreshing beverage that is fresh-squeezed, healthy and easy.”

ASO provided $20,000 for the BESA club project from their reserves. Haghi explained the money will be used to assist the club with getting established.

“The money will be used to buy the carts, start-up products, everything that is essential for the start of the business,” Haghi said. “We wanted to make sure to provide enough funding to enable the club to be successful.”

BESA club is open to all students, regardless of major. The juice club will be considered a directed study course, and it is expected to launch in the fall semester.

Jiha said the juice club operation will help students gain the sort of knowledge they would from a job.

“A lot of times, students exit college with a degree, which is essentially a piece of paper,” Jiha said. “This presents a good opportunity to receive experience in different aspects of business and substitutes job experience.”

Campbell said the value of this training will be useful when students begin their careers.

”We’ve wanted to do this for a very long time,” Campbell said. “I can teach theory all day, but practicing in the real world has so much value. This lab will allow students to enter the business world with experience, putting them ahead of the game.”