Business Empowerment Initiative: A look into the world of business

Well to start off, the Business Empowerment Initiative club is often referred to as BEI. The goal of BEI is to educate students about the world of business.

Before we continue, we have to give you a little back story about how BEI came to be. This is the first year BEI is running, but before this, there was a very similar club that ran. The name of that club was DECA.

Logo of DECA inc.

DECA is an international organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in Marketing, Finance, Hospitality and Management in high schools and colleges around the globe. This broadens your horizon and prepares you for your future.

DECA ran very similarly to BEI. Students work on case studies in a ‘role-play scenario’ throughout the club’s duration, preparing for the competitions to come. Students also study business as a whole, working towards the upcoming exam.

DECA’s competitive events are run internationally, and as such, students from our school got to compete against students from many other schools. And when it comes to the exams, there normally would be 100 questions and an hour to answer all of them.

Another thing to mention: during the competitions you are expected to wear proper business attire. Some of the woman’s attire includes a blazer (optional, but recommended), dress pants or pencil skirt, light-coloured shirt, black flats or heels, and light or no makeup. Men’s attire includes a blazer (optional, but recommended), a long-sleeved shirt, pants, tie and/or watch, belt, and leather shoes.

What happend to DECA?

But at this point in the article, you may be asking “if DECA did everything that BEI does now, what happened to DECA?”

Well, unfortunately, DECA Ontario has been suspended from participating in the ICDC (International Career Development Conference) competition for this year. These are the two primary reasons:

  1. Copyright violations of DECA Inc. materials
  2. The University/College division of DECA Ontario has $16000 in outstanding fees

Due to these reasons, the students here at Richardson who participated in DECA prior to the suspension decided to start their own similar club called BEI.

Logo of J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate BEI

BEI runs very similarly to how DECA did in the past. It is still student-run, and case studies and exams will be taking place. The only difference is that BEI is more J. Clarke Richardson focused. The competitions (semi-finals and finals) will only be happening within our school, and the exams will have 50 questions rather than 100. Students will still be allocated one full hour to complete the exam. Awards will also be given out to the finalists.

Why Join BEI?

  1. Firstly, you can gain numerous skills for your resume. Many skills you take from BEI look very impressive on a resume! After all, this is a business club, and under the umbrella of business comes many topics and opportunities to learn skills from all areas. Whether that area is managing technology and innovation, corporate responsibility, ethics and accountability, or accounting and finance, these are all valuable areas of knowledge.
  2. Secondly, you will acquire networking experience. Through BEI you can connect with others and learn how to do so in the future as well. You have many opportunities to do this, such as when you are practicing with other club members, or working in a team to complete a case study.
  3. Third, you gain leadership skills. BEI will definitely help you to take a leadership role in anything you strive to do. In this club, you are highly encouraged to take initiative and be creative with your ideas. After all, it is a role-play scenario that you’re acting out, so being as creative as possible is highly encouraged. The judges will be looking for what makes your presentation unique, and why you should get first place. Your confidence is also something that greatly improves during your time in BEI. One of the strategies they suggest to improve your confidence is “it’s okay if you are uncertain; just go with the flow” (AKA ‘fake it till you make it’). BEI forces you to put yourself out there. You gain many leadership qualities from activities that you would not have access to otherwise.
  4. Fourth, you learn skills you can apply to your daily life. The experience you get in this club will help you tackle real-life situations in the business world. You can gain experiences you would never have had otherwise, and as such, get ahead of your peers. This will greatly benefit you in the future if you decide to get a job related to business. Another competency you’ll get to practice for use in life outside of school is quick thinking. Because of the short time you have to gather all your ideas for the case study, you will become very efficient at quickly thinking of out-of-the-box ideas.

Types of events:

Solo events: 10 mins to read + prep; 10 mins to present your solution
Team events: 30 mins to read + prep; 15 mins to present your solution

Solo Events

  • Principles of Business Administration (Grade 9s only)
  • Principles of Marketing (Grade 9s only)
  • Principles of Hospitality (Grade 9s only)
  • Apparel and Accessories
  • Business Services Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Food Marketing
  • Hotel and Lodging Management
  • Human Resources
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Sports and Entertainment Marketing
  • Personal Financial Literacy

Team Events (2 people)

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Hospitality Services
  • Marketing Management
  • Sports Marketing
  • Travel and Tourism

We hope you gained some new knowledge after reading this article and enjoyed learning about a club that you can take part in. Is this club something that you’re interested in? Do you want to join? Well then, what are you waiting for? Go and start your BEI experience!

Follow BEI’s Instagram @beistorm.