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.
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
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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 Cuts is WashU’s Premier Salon and Barbershop, performing all types of hair styling and grooming services including hair cuts, shaves, blow-outs, bang-trims, coloring, styling and more.
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Bear-y Sweet Shoppe
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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.
SWAP – Sharing with a Purpose
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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.
Wydown Water provides rentable water coolers and five-gallon bottles of water, as well as rentable Keurig coffee makers and K-Cups, to members of the Washington University community.