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By Liz Haggarty

The Student Campus Centre is encouraging student entrepreneurs to present their business plans if they’re interested in setting up retail spaces in the building.

“We’re not stopping any student from setting up a business that could compete equally–if not better–with anything in the business world,” said Student Campus Centre manager Rob Emerson.

A number of students have already approached him about opportunities to open shops in the basement, he said. Empty spaces in the building–which operates on campus but independently of Ryerson–have made it possible for companies to bid for room, free from the university’s corporate-exclusivity deals.

Since the SCC committee’s main principle is to be a self-sustaining corporation, Ryerson’s deals with outside suppliers such as Coca-Cola Ltd. CIBC won’t apply. That means students with a craving for a 7Up–not a Sprite–could grab a drink in the SCC if management sets up a vending machine.

David Buchanan of the Royal Bank of Canada confirmed RBC is “looking for opportunities to extend our network and would be interested in the site.” Filling basement retail space is a primary concern for the SCC board, which wants to see occupants included by September. “It could be a restaurant, a convenience store–there has been talk of a TravelCUTS,” said Emerson.

“We will have to decide whether exclusivity is the best way to go.”

Anyone who wants to make sure their voice is heard, Emerson adds, “can come and talk to me.”

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