CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico’s SAGE Teams Up with Fresher Sacramento to Promote Teen Entrepreneurship, Healthy Eating

Date: 10-19-2017

Sean Murphy, Public Affairs
TEL: 530-898-6492
Curt DeBerg, SAGE
TEL: 530-898-4824

The California State University, Chico chapter of Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) is teaming up with Fresher Sacramento to promote teen entrepreneurship and healthy food for undernourished children and the elderly.

SAGE is an international nonprofit organization that connects secondary school organizations to mentors from local universities and businesses. SAGE’s CSU, Chico chapter, founded by accounting professor Curt DeBerg in 2002 captured the Overall Winner Judges Award at the 2015 Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Competition.

At the 2017 SVP Fast Pitch Competition, Fresher Sacramento, which creates affordable and nutritious meals for lower-income and underserved Sacramento neighborhoods, won the Coaches Award and shared in American Advertising Federation FreeThink Award honors. After reconnecting at this year’s event, the two groups decided to join forces to broaden their impact.

DeBerg and Fresher Sacramento Director David Azen agree that involving entrepreneurial teens in providing healthy food from growers to lower-income families is a win-win.

“The teens win because they learn through their hard work and innovation that they can earn a small profit in their business ventures while also providing healthier food to families who need it most, DeBerg said.

SAGE’s goal is to introduce social entrepreneurship to teens by having them launch actual social enterprises. Fresher Sacramento aims to ensure every child goes to bed well-fed, putting them in a better position to succeed.

SAGE is modeled after interscholastic sporting events.

“But instead of competing on speed, strength or endurance, we provide teens with a chance to compete based on the creativity and impact of their socially responsible businesses,” DeBerg said.

An added benefit of the partnership with Fresher Sacramento, he added, is that the teens are paired with university students who provide free consulting.

“Our partnership with SAGE will introduce an element of friendly competition among the teens, as they compete based on how well they can deliver healthy food to the people who need it most,” Azen said.

DeBerg and Azen plan to start five new SAGE chapters in Sacramento-area high schools this fall, including Hiram Johnson, American Legion and Will C. Wood. DeBerg and SAGE have pledged $6,000 to the cause, to provide startup capital and course materials for the teens.


About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the 23-member CSU system, the nation’s largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 17,500 students and offers more than 230 undergraduate and graduate programs through its seven colleges and five schools. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States, and is the only CSU campus to have earned a favorable rating in all five categories of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scoreboard, which rates universities on affordability and value. Its mission includes a broad commitment to environmental sustainability, public service and community engagement throughout the 12-county North State region where the campus is located. The University became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2015,