MBAs Help Small Businesses Find Success
In an economy full of small businesses looking for a wide-range of resources to remain on top of commerce, finance, and competitiveness, a graduate course at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is lending support to area businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Small Business Clinic, also known as STRT-575, has gained prominence both in Washington, D.C., and around the Beltway’s business world. The MBA-only class assists students in developing business plans and aids them with legal, accounting, and finance issues when putting together strategies for small businesses and non-profits. As of March 2011, the class has been responsible for offering close to $84,000 in free consulting to small businesses.
“I think the value to Georgetown is that we are reaching out into the local community and providing high quality consulting to small companies and not-for-profits,” says course professor James Hunt, an adjunct professor at the school.
While organizations like Living Social and The Washington Post’s start-up Service Alley have yielded consulting advice from STRT-575 students, Georgetown MBAs also are reaping the experience of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the business community. Each year, MBAs from the class examine nominated projects from 20 companies, and the students pick eight to nine to receive their consulting services.
“The Small Business Clinic has been my favorite course so far at Georgetown,” MBA student Andrew King says. “I don't come from a business background, and this class gave me a much-needed opportunity to perform a real consulting project for a local company. My experience during this project increased my confidence in my business skills and improved my resume at the same time.”
Other companies that have benefitted from the Small Business Clinic course consulting include Everfi, Alchimie Forever, VideoNEXT, Convenient Closets, and not-for-profits Pink Line Projects and KaBOOM.