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Ole Miss CIE Looks to Deploy Free Consultants to Local Businesses

Photo courtesy UM Communications
Photo courtesy UM Communications

The University of Mississippi Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is looking for businesses that would like consulting done from select upper-class business and accountancy students.

The Student Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development Program is a student-led buesiness consulting program that is sponsored by a grant from the Hearin Support Foundation. Founded last year, the Student Business Consulting program deploys teams of 3-4 students to work with clients in customer and market research, product and production solutions, accounting, social media utilization, business planning and strategy and others.

There are currently 13 members in the group that are recruited as some of the select and elite students in their field. The students become student-employees of the University and are paid for the time they spend on client projects, free of charge to the clients.

“The Student Business Consulting program is a free service to the community sponsored by a charitable organization with the explicit goal to turn Ole Miss students into problem-solvers for local businesses,” said Dr. Rich Gentry, Director of the CIE. “We hire the best students that the business school produces and ask them to help solve specific problems that businesses would struggle to solve by themselves.”

Gentry went on to say in the program’s 120 work hours last year, work was done for start-ups, established local businesses and for business exploring the viability of new technology.

“Our services run the gamut and are available to everyone in Rebel Nation,” he said.

The SBC is supported by the Mississippi Small Business Development Centers, the Ole Miss Office of Technology Transfers, and Insight Park’s Innovation Hub. Not only does the business get consulting help free of charge, the students are able to gain invaluable experience, including Su Kim, a junior from Memphis that is majoring in accounting.

“My first project was to research about the equity-crowd-funding platform. Through the research, I had learn so much about the crowd-funding, and I also had a chance to have several conference calls with professionals, which helped me to become more knowledgeable about the platform,” he said. “Currently, I work with Geeks n Gigs company. They requested to help them in how to market the students and employers in Oxford.”

Another student from the program is Reed Bruce, a managerial finance and real estate double-major from Birmingham.

“I am currently on a team helping a local hair salon, Alice & Co, expand their market share among college kids here,” he said. “We are working with marketing/pricing/ and services offered to help grow business with students.”

To fill out an application for your business, go to this website. 

Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at michael.quirk@hottytoddy.com.

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