FUSE Program Develops Young Entrepreneurs

Oct 26 2016 | Written By Jennifer McHugh, Director of Public Affairs and Financial Education

DeLong middle school students in Eau Claire recently completed Royal Credit Union’s (Royal) Future U.S. Entrepreneurs (FUSE) program.  FUSE is a competitive learning experience for students to draw from their business and entrepreneurship classroom lessons to create a complete business proposal and to present it to a panel of experts.

After four weeks of developing their ideas for a small business and submitting business plans, thirteen 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from DeLong Middle School presented eight different small business ideas.  A special FUSE Challenge event was held Royal’s Corporate Center on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. The students presented their business proposals to a panel of judges and an audience.  The top performers were awarded cash prizes to continue the development of their business. Students also sold their products and services after the event to parents and Royal team members who attended the event. The program is expected to expand to other middle schools in the communities’ Royal serves.

This original program was developed through collaboration between Royal Credit Union’s Financial Education and Business Loan Departments.  It was offered as a pilot program to students in the Prime Products after-school class at Delong Middle School in Eau Claire, WI in Spring, 2015. Royal has now conducted three FUSE programs. Fifty-one students have participated and Royal has awarded over $1000 in cash prizes.


Royal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union serving over 160,000 Members with 24 full service offices.  Wisconsin locations are in Amery, Balsam Lake, Chippewa Falls, Colby, Eau Claire, Hudson, Menomonie, New Richmond, Osceola, Rice Lake, River Falls, St. Croix Falls, Somerset, and Whitehall. Royal Credit Union Minnesota locations are in Edina, Coon Rapids, and St. Paul. Royal is driven by a core ideology which is built on strong purpose and values. Royal is certified by the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). You can open an account or apply for a low-rate loan at Royal Credit Union if you live or work in 23 counties in western Wisconsin, 12 counties in Minnesota, or are a Realtor in Wisconsin or Minnesota. Visit rcu.org or call Royal Credit Union at 1-800-341-9911 for more information.