DECA Encouraging Students to Unleash Their Ideas
Oct 19, 2010
Part of a series of profiles on Global Entrepreneurship Week's Global and National Partners
Not only is entrepreneurship becoming a more popular career choice for young people, but in the eyes of Ed Davis, executive director of DECA (www.deca.org), every young person needs some entrepreneurial skills these days.
“There is a cultural change in big corporations,” he said. “Kids have to be entrepreneurs about their careers – even kids that go to one company have to exhibit that entrepreneurial sense because they’re not going to stay there forever. They have to figure out what they can use from that experience.”
Through local chapters in high schools and colleges around the world, DECA seeks to develop this sense by improving education and career opportunities for students interested in careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Their network includes over 185,000 students in all 50 states, plus Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, Germany and Mexico.
Programs and activities are tailor-made, providing specific technical skills, basic scholastic and communication skills, human relations and employability skills, and a strong emphasis on economics and free enterprise.
One of the main events for DECA students is competitions, held on a local and national level. The idea is to learn theories in the classrooms, Davis said, and then apply those theories through competitions.
“We see real value in having our students connect with students in similar class in other countries,” Davis said. “(With GEW) there is a chance to connect directly with students who they otherwise would not see.”
The focus of DECA is not so much on turning every student into an entrepreneur, but rather to instill them with those skills for whatever they choose to do with their lives.
“It isn’t so much on the notion that a person will design a plan and turn that into a business,” Davis said. “Some certainly do, but we more expect them to continue their education and draw on that experience later.”
DECA already has over 200 local chapters around the world planning events for this November. In addition, they will be hosting GEW kickoff events in DC and New York and are organizing the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in San Diego.