STUDENT ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAM (STEP)
The Washington University in St. Louis Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP) provides a unique opportunity for students to own a business on campus that serves the Washington University community. Student owners can supplement the valuable business and entrepreneurial skills they learn in the classroom while gaining real world experience as they manage and lead their own businesses. Students can buy into an existing business or start a new one!
BENEFITS OF JOINING STEP
- Subsidized on-campus storefront space in Gregg House
- On-campus solicitation of business
- Organized speaker series and owner roundtable meetings
- Leadership opportunities within the StEP Executive Board
- Campus mailbox
- Card access to residence halls
- Access to mailing labels for student mailing
- StEP website and virtual mall
- StEP Loan Fund
Undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need can apply for the StEP Loan Fund to start a new business or purchase an existing StEP business. Eligible students can borrow up to $10,000 per loan.
For details and eligibility, contact Jessica (Stanko) Weldon.
GUIDELINES OF STEP
- Businesses must be owned and operated exclusively by current Washington University undergraduate students.
- Business may not sell a product or service that directly competes with the University or any existing contract between the University and an outside contractor.
- All business owners must sign a StEP Agreement and provide proof of insurance.
- Business operating from one of the Gregg House storefronts must sign a lease Agreement and pay monthly rent.
- Student entrepreneurs and their associates must conduct business in a professional manner.
- Business owners must submit an annual report detailing operations and proof of ownership/sales annually.
- Businesses are subject to a review and approval each year.
HOW TO START A NEW STEP BUSINESS:
- Create a unique business concept
- Talk with the StEP Advisor about your business concept
- Prepare and submit a detailed business plan
- Deliver a business plan presentation and complete an interview with the StEP Board of Directors
- Wait for approval and recognition
- Raise capital and become official by fulfilling the requirements of a business in the St. Louis/Clayton area
- Take advantage of the benefits of being a member
Bear Bites is an on campus food delivery service. By using this service, you can order food from any restaurant on the Loop or in the surrounding area and have it delivered directly to your dorm room.
Bears Bikes is an on-campus student-run bike shop that offers high-quality yearly bike rentals along with maintenance and storage to the students and faculty of WashU.
Bear Discounts is a discount card company dedicated to saving Washington University students money at local St. Louis area stores and restaurants.
Bear-y Sweet Shoppe
The Bear-y Sweet Shoppe is a pay-by-weight bulk candy and snack shop that provides high quality and affordable assorted gummies, chocolates, yogurt-covered items, nuts, and dried fruit perfect for powering through afternoon slumps and late nights or brightening someone’s day!
Off the Row
Off the Row is a screen printing and monogramming Greek goods store. It specializes in custom apparel as well as unique merchandise and gift items.
Refresh is WashU’s Salon and Barbershop, performing all types of hair styling and grooming services including hair cuts, shaves, blow-outs, bang-trims, coloring, styling and more.
SWAP – Sharing with a Purpose
Sharing With a Purpose (SWAP) is a student-run non-profit that runs the Trading Post (a free store) and SWAP on the Swamp (a sale of used dorm supplies) with the mission of encouraging creative reuse and collaborative consumption for the WashU community.
UShuttle is a transportation service for Washington University students. With access to a wide variety of vehicles, UShuttle is able to meet all students’ and student groups’ transportation needs. Thanksgiving and Spring Break airport shuttles available too!
UTrucking rents dorm sized refrigerators, microwaves, and safes. It also provides summer storage, nationwide shipping, graduation shipping, and study-abroad storage. All services include free pick up and delivery.
Wash U Wash is a student-owned, student-operated company that has provided wash and fold laundry and dry cleaning service to the Washington University in St. Louis community for over 25 years. They are the only university-recognized laundry and dry cleaning service, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure high quality services and attentive customer care.
Weekend Wear Rentals
Weekend Wear Rentals offers costume and formal wear rentals. Their storefront is conveniently located on the South 40, and their evening hours are conducive to last minute plans.
UPCOMING STEP EVENTS
Mandatory Accounting Workshop: October 16, 5 pm
Starting a StEP business workshop: October 22, 4 pm
Buying a Business Workshop: Tuesday, November 5, 6-8 pm
1st Draft of Annual Report Due: Monday, February 3
Final Draft of Annual Report Due: Sunday, February 16
Annual Report Presentations: Friday, February 21