Elgin Park Secondary business teacher Jay Mundi offers students Paul Sidhu and Maple Lei suggestions to guide their creative thinking.

Elgin Park Secondary business teacher Jay Mundi offers students Paul Sidhu and Maple Lei suggestions to guide their creative thinking.

South Surrey students mean business

Elgin Park Secondary business-club students are preparing to test their skills at a competition in Texas.

Elgin Park Secondary teacher Jay Mundi had a challenge for his business club students Tuesday.

“What can we do with a pen?” Mundi said. “Start thinking. What is a business we could start up that could make a lot – a lot – of money?”

The answer, Maple Lei, 15, acknowledged, will take creative thinking.

“You’ve got to have a good imagination,” she said, as she and fellow student Paul Sidhu began researching.

Lei, Sidhu and fellow club members will put their imagination and more to the test next month in Texas, when they will go up against business students from around the globe at the International Entrepreneurship Conference in Austin, Nov. 20-22.

Mundi said he’s optimistic the mix of Grade 8-12 students will fare well – two years ago in Chicago, the club came away with second place.

This time, “we’re hoping to win first place,” he said.

The club has been competing at various levels for about six years, and while they “made a lot of mistakes along the way,” have grown to prove themselves a force to be reckoned with, Mundi said.

He noted that Elgin is currently the only B.C. school competing internationally – a point they hope to rectify through the recent launch of a B.C. chapter of DECA, a national youth business organization that organizes competitions worldwide.

The team took that idea to Vancouver last Friday, aiming to ‘sell’ it to delegates at the BC Business Educators Association conference.

“We had a full house,” Mundi said, noting the club shared “a whole host of information” with the teachers, including that school clubs must have at least 10 students to register with BC DECA.

The hope is to grow the chapter to 10,000 members in the next 10 years, he said.

Once back from Texas, the students will put new focus on BC DECA, while ramping up preparations for next spring’s International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tenn. The year-end business finals event brings together more than 20,000 of the world’s top business students.