Placing students at the center of the educational experience, California State University Channel Islands (CI) provides experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students through entrepreneurial field-case consulting and increase local communities' recognition of CI's commitment to harbor, foster and enhance the business fabric and economy of our service area.
The Small Business Institute (SBI) program, established in 1972 as a pilot program, began as a cooperative venture, in large part, funded by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and approximately 20 universities. The program has developed to include as many as 500 programs at colleges and universities in the 50 states and several U.S. territories. Today, approximately 250 universities participate in the SBI program.
Initially the Small Business Administration was the primary source of funding for the SBI system. Unfortunately, in recent years, funding cutbacks at the federal level have resulted in most of the SBI's having to rely on a combination of university and some form of municipal or public funding for operation.
The primary difference that sets our SBI apart from others is our source of funding. We developed our SBI based on outside sources of private funding and rely very little, if any, on public funds for its' operation. This will enable us to continue operations without the need for interruption of vital services during periods of cyclical budget reductions or constraints.
The Small Business Institute Concept
- The SBI Program bridges the gap between the subject competency provided by the colleges and universities and the entry-level training firms critically need.
- Through our SBI Small Business Institute program our students participate in hands-on learning experience by conducting field case studies and providing consulting services to local small business owners.
- Teams of qualified senior-level and graduate CI students, under the expert faculty and SBI Director supervision, provide the consulting to small business owners and managers as part of their educational training here at CI.
- The SBI program is a catalyst in helping small businesses expand and diversify. The program assists businesses in the planning and marketing efforts needed not only to survive, expand, and diversify, but also to obtain additional funding for their business operations.
- The emphasis of the program is on practical, realistic, and affordable solutions to problems confronting individual small businesses.
Links to more information on CI's SBI
Link to News Items about CI's SBI
For further information, contact:
Rudolph I. Estrada (biography (PDF, 134KB))
Director, Small Business Institute
Faculty member, Business and Management
California State University Channel Islands
One University Drive
Camarillo, California 93012