What is a Student-Run Business Organization?
Dating back to 1894 at Cornell University, student-run business organizations provide a structure for students to learn leadership, entrepreneurship, and excellence by operating real businesses in the real world. Originally, these organizations were formed to help students pay for college. Now, they are some of the most advanced tools for providing hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.
Top organizations employ hundreds of students across a variety of industries, generating millions of revenue a year. What they have in common? Students at the helm of businesses that matter.
To promote, connect and cultivate experiential learning-based student-run business organizations in higher education
Shaping the future of higher education and positively impacting society by preparing the next generation of experientially-practiced leaders.
The formation of the Student-Run Business Association emerged from the collaboration and determination of the students, faculty, and staff of student-run business programs at universities across the country. In 2013, Loyola Limited at Loyola University Chicago hosted the first annual Student-Run Business Conference to provide collegiate entrepreneurs the space to network and collaborate, the tools to provide the best experience to their staff and customers, and the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and other student-run business leaders. The conference continued annually, bringing together on average 30 undergraduate business leaders and administrators from various institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Northwestern University, Loyola University, Xavier University, University of Dayton, Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton University, and Brown University.
Having discussed for years the need for learning and collaboration opportunities outside of the annual conference, our founding members committed to build an association in 2018 that would provide the resources and pathways for student-run business programs to grow and best support their student entrepreneurs. This milestone has been achieved thanks to the students, full time faculty and staff members, guest speakers, and alumni of these student programs that are carrying out the long-term vision of the success this network can have.
Established in 1894, Student Agencies, Inc. (SAI) is the oldest independent student-run company in the nation. Our businesses generate nearly $3 million in annual revenues and pay out close to $500,000 in wages, bonuses, and profit sharing to our undergraduate managers and employees. With almost 300 undergraduates involved in SAI, we are the second largest employer of Cornell students after the University itself.
Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) is the largest student-run company in the world, employing more than 650 undergraduates annually. Founded in 1957, HSA is a multi-million dollar non-profit that provides Harvard students with meaningful opportunities for employment and hands-on business education.
Georgetown, Inc., commonly known as “The Corp,” is a public, non-profit, and charitable organization at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. It consists of seven subsidiary companies generating annual revenues in excess of $5 million. Only undergraduate students of Georgetown University work as employees or sit as members of The Corp’s Board of Directors, distinguishing business operations at The Corp from other student-run companies.
Founded in 2010, Loyola Limited is Loyola University Chicago’s undergraduate student-run business enterprise. By providing students with unparalleled experiential learning opportunities in small business management rooted in creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Loyola Limited works to transform undergraduate students into leaders. In less than a decade, its teams have launched numerous ventures and currently operate six businesses. Loyola Limited’s business ventures have generated over $4 million in revenue, produced over 250 alumni, and currently employ students across numerous schools and areas of study.
Formed in June, 2018 Blue and Gold Ventures (B&G) is a new student-run business organization designed to maximize student leadership opportunities through diverse, community-engaged and entrepreneurial enterprises. The organization is an independent, non-stock corporation working closely with Marquette University. With less than a year in operation, more than 7 businesses operate under B&G, employing over 50 students with a similarly sized network of advisers.
Student Holdings is an independent non-profit organization that provides educational, hands-on business experience to Northwestern University undergraduate students by giving them the opportunity to launch, operate and grow services, which provide goods and services to the Northwestern, Evanston, and Chicago communities. Founded in 2005, the organization now includes 3 businesses and more than 50 students.
Established in 1933, Penn Student Agencies (PSA) has a long history of serving the University of Pennsylvania campus community and the greater Philadelphia community. With 9 student-run businesses and 125 student employees annually, PSA provides students with hands-on business experience and transferable skill development.
Since 1911, Princeton Student Agencies has proudly served Princeton University's students and their families, alumni, faculty, and staff. Today, our fourteen student-run businesses offer a wide variety of products and services, and employ more than 250 undergraduate students.