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Letter from the President

The Small Business Institute® (SBI) was formed in 1976 and is the premier organization dedicated to field-based student consulting and outreach to small businesses. Our members are actively involved in projects with small businesses, entrepreneurial firms, and other organizations in their communities and regions. Through its journals and annual conference, SBI is the only academic organization in the U.S. that focuses intently on student experiential learning in business.  Other academic organizations focus on entrepreneurship and small business education as at least part of what they do, but the focus on student experiential learning and faculty development in the field of experiential learning is the major purpose of SBI. 

SBI offers our academic members a number of benefits, including, but not limited to the following: annual conference; personal and College/University awards; free entry into the Project of the Year (POY) competition; two (2) highly-regarded peer-reviewed journals; and much, much more. Award-winning papers at the annual conference may also get early review from the editors of our two journals. 

We are especially proud of the field-based student consulting projects that many of our members supervise each year. These experiential-learning programs are operated at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by colleges and universities across the country, and bridge the gap between subject competency provided by courses in business and the entry-level training that companies critically need. Teams of qualified university students, under expert faculty supervision, provide consulting to small business owners and managers as part of the students’ education. These programs emphasize practical, realistic, and affordable solutions to problems confronting small businesses.

Our camaraderie is key to what makes the Small Business Institute® a vital link to your success! SBI members are known for their welcoming spirit and are always willing to lend a hand to a colleague in program development, starting a new Project of the Year course at their college or university, starting a new class or research project, or submitting to the Small Business Institute Journal or the Journal of Small Business Strategy. This is what has made the SBI such a wonderful organization. 

I do hope that you will consider the SBI as a place to belong, and I hope to see you at the annual conference this coming February in New Orleans!

Bill McDowell

President, Small Business Institute®                                              


What's New?

New Member Recognized for Work

Small Business Institute® Member, Dr. Dennis Barber III of Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA, was recently recognized via several outlets for the SBI initiatives he is implementing as SBI Director at Armstrong State. Read up on Dennis's initiative in the following article links:

Savannah Now Article

Creative Coast Blog Link

Read about Dennis and the Program at Armstrong State in our New Program Spotlight!

Congratulations Dennis, and thanks for your work to gain recognition for the SBI®!

CSUN Students and Faculty Recognized for SBI® Project of the Year Excellence

Professor Joy Griffin (middle) and Dr. Deborah Course (right) accept their awards from Patrick Walker (left)

CSUN upholds tradition since 2011 by placing teams in the ‘top three' of the Small Business Institute’s® Project of the year Competition. Both graduate and undergraduate teams earned first-place prizes for work conducted during the 2014 school year with Professor Joy Griffin and Dr. Ali Behnezhad. See the press release below for additional information on CSUN’s recent achievements.


University of Fredericton Graduate Students Earn 2nd-Place Finish in SBI® POY Competition


Dr. Blake Escudier (left) accepts the award from Patrick Walker (right)

University of Fredericton students earned second-place honors in the SBI® Business Plan section of the Project of the Year Competition. See the press release below to learn more about UFred’s accomplishments.


UNCG MBA Project Earns Third Place Finish in SBI® POY Competition


Pictured: Dr. Dianne Welsh, UNCG SBI Director

Two University of North Carolina-Greensboro MBA students earned third-place honors in the Small Business Institute Project of the Year Competition business plan category under the direction of Richard Brown. To read more about their accomplishments, see the press release below.


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