SCORE, George Rusznak, and the DNC

By Dyan Bomer on Jun 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM in Business Partner Activities

An interesting partnership bloomed between SCORE (a resource partner of the Small Business Administration) and the DNC (Dons Net Café). Because of this unique, positive and long running interaction between high level retired business people and ambitious student entrepreneurs, a truly successful student-run group of businesses has prospered. It has been a model for other schools and student entrepreneurs since 1993 and hopefully will remain so for many more. (Click on the word SCORE for an article written by SCORE on the DNC).

The DNC is sustainable and is able to meet the growing needs of its 10 businesses. Those needs include supplies and uniforms as well as funds for a yearly trip to the Virtual Enterprise NYC International Trade Fair and Business Competition. We continue to work with our SCORE counselors on everything from Business Plan writing to our newest need, how to select the best form of business entity.

SCORE partners could never quite get the virtual part of our involvement with Virtual Enterprise.  Therefore, we always kept our businesses real, based on our actual numbers,not on a virtual company.  This created a real world business environment filled with excitement while still tackling the aggressive Virtual Enterprise curriculum.   Students rarely miss class and are deeply committed to their work.  The number one statement we hear from visitors is, "I wish I had this when I was in high school!"  As our longest standing SCORE mentor George Rusznak says, “winning is good, making real money is better.”

Our finest moment was recently in Virtual Enterprise’s first "REAL" National Business Plan competition, held in the Oakland Convention Center, where we won First Place with a $1000 prize money, proving that winning and money were equally sweet.  The DNC Business Plan winner was, Design-N-Cut (customized clothing), which is already profitable and highly sought by local customers and incoming entrepreneurs in the DNC.

The entrepreneurship wave has begun or is beginning at other schools nation-wide as need for project based proven course work is being adopted.  The members of the Dons Net Cafe also hope to see social entrepreneurship become more valued in the Virtual Enterprise/entrepreneurship world as it is our cornerstone, with the motto of the DNC being "doin' some good in the world."  DNC members contribute a minimum of 5,500 of community service hours yearly through VITA and Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots projects.20140614-041824-15504934.jpgThe DNC was proud to award SCORE mentor, George Rusznak, the Mentor of the Decade Award at our year end celebration. The amazing relationship he has fostered over the years between himself and the teens of the Dons Net Cafe, is truly noteworthy. No deeper mutual respect can be found.