The CI SBI will utilize teams of senior-level or graduate business students under faculty supervision, to conduct in-depth consulting and field case projects to analyze and create solutions for specific small business problem.
The CI SBI is unique in its funding source in that it has secured private entity funding and works at developing strategic ongoing financial alliances with private business entities and stakeholders throughout the CI service area.
The CI SBI is operated under the direction of the SBI Director who reports to the Chair of Business and Economics. The overall SBI Program operates with a cooperative agreement between the CI President’s Foundation and the University.
The SBI is operated in the Business and Economics Program. Students enrolled in courses such Accounting, Management and Marketing and Small Business Management will participate in the program as SBI student consultants.
The SBI students meet frequently with the small business owners over the course of the academic term to learn about the business, observe operations, and address specific problems.
The SBI students conduct an in-depth analysis of the business and its industry prior to recommending solutions to the small business client. Then, they focus on a particular problem or opportunity and recommend solutions or courses of action to implement. At the end of the semester the SBI client receives a thorough written and oral report from the student team and the students receives credit/grades for their participation. All the SBI services are provided free of charge to qualified small businesses.
In 2005, the SBI will plan on providing and administering a micro-loan program enabling qualifying small businesses to borrow up to $10,000.00 for expansion and working capital utilization.
Additionally, the SBI Director and certain B&E Faculty will work with local community leaders and public economic development agencies to assist in developing a long-term business development strategy focusing on improving the small business fabric located in the CI service communities.