Fostering Entrepreneurial Education Together

Welcome to Small Business Institute®


Small Business Institute® 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 with small businesses, entrepreneurial firms, and organizations in their communities and regions.

We are especially proud of the field-based student consulting projects that many of our members supervise each year. These individual programs are operated by colleges and universities across the country. These SBI programs 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 their education. These programs emphasize practical, realistic, and affordable solutions to problems confronting small businesses.

Our organization offers our members a number of benefits, including, but not limited to the following: annual conference, awards, student project competition, two (2) journals, a newsletter, and much, much more.




Rider University Students Win First Place at National Small Business Institute Competition

Rider University's student consulting teams, both graduate and undergraduate, each won first place in their division for the Project of the Year Competition at the 2014 SBI conference. This was the first time that a Rider MBA team won and only the second time a Rider undergraduate team finished first. The client for the graduate students was Spruce industries, located in Rahway, N.J. and the team focused on the potential market for proprietary software developed by Spruce. Click here for more details

Dr. Ron Cook with the winning graduate team of Kimberly Cook, Matt Nowlin and Jeremy Hopewell (not shown is team member Brian Janovsky).

Chuck Matthews Honored

The University of Cincinnati recently honored Chuck Matthews for the past 16 years of service to the UC SBI Center.

From left to right: Tim Fogarty (Chair of the Center’s Advisory Board), William J. Keating Jr. (Vice-Chair of the Center’s Advisory Board), Chuck Matthews, Churck's wife Margie, and Thomas Dalziel.

TWU students take top prize

By Karina Ramirez / Staff Writer
Published: 22 April 2013 11:11 PM

A Texas Woman’s University team won first place for a graduate business plan that would hope to provide a more efficient total joint replacement.

The winners were announced at a conference in St. Pete Beach, Fla. last month. All graduated from TWU’s Executive Masters of Business Administration program in December. The competition highlighted the work of graduate and undergraduate students at colleges and universities that are involved with the SBI program. The goal of the competition was to address a specific business problem or present a business opportunity, according to the organization’s website. Click here for more details

Welcome to the 2014 Small Business Institute® Conference and Viva Las Vegas!

You’re really in for a great conference thanks to the hard work of Bill McDowell and his conference planning team. Patrick Walker has put together the SBI Proceedings that is well-designed to reflect the program. There is an exciting array of workshops, paper presentations, keynote speakers, and engaging social activities that includes a surprise celebrity at the Saturday reception! Our Thursday opening reception will give you an exciting opportunity to meet first time SBI Conference attendees as well as network with long-time members. Our camaraderie is key to what makes the Small Business Institute© a vital link to your success! Be sure and welcome our new friends and our longstanding members and Fellows. These sessions are sure to attract your attention and provide exciting professional development opportunities.

Over the past year, we have accomplished much together. I have implemented a strategic development task force. We have added our student affiliates. We have added to the conference the ability to submit abstracts as well as full papers to encourage first time attendance and also those who have papers in process to submit.  We have added extra emphasis on taking papers to the next step to encourage submissions to our two sponsored journals and to encourage excellent submissions. We have expanded the Spotlight Program on the website to include not only SBI© Programs, but member research and student affiliates.

I have been honored to serve as President of the SBI©. My first SBI© Conference was in 1989 while I was a new faculty member at Eastern Washington University under the mentorship of Leo Simpson. Since then, I have regularly attended SBI© Conferences. However, I continually am amazed at the new ideas, energy, enthusiasm, sincere loyalty, and belief in the Small Business Institute© and the SBI© Model and system. It is as relevant today with the emphasis on experiential learning as it was at our beginning conference. This is further evident from the AACSB in April 2013 making experiential learning a major pillar of accreditation.

I want to personally thank each of the Board of Directors for their hard work and willingness to go the extra mile, as well as Matthew Sonfield, our Fellows Chair. We all have the best intentions to continue the work of our former leaders to grow and sustain the Small Business Institute©. We need your continued support and engagement. We all need to be cheerleaders to continue the work of the Small Business Institute and the important work we do for small businesses and real student learning! 

Thank you for the honor of serving as your President.

All the best for a great conference!

Dianne H.B. Welsh, Ph.D.


10 Major Accomplishments of SBI Board in 2013

Dianne H. B. Welsh, PhD, President, February 16, 2014

1.)    120 Members- 90 +30 student members

94 attendees- 16 new conference attendees 

  • 15% increase in attendees
3.)    Profitable- 4 years ago we lost $12,000
  • All our conferences profitable since 
  • Every year in the last four years we have been either  profitable or at break even for the organization

4.)    EBSCO & Proquest- both SBI Journals on included as well as in Cabell’s

Implemental Strategic Development Task Force- Chaired by Joy Griffin (now appointed as the VP Development after the 2014 Business Meeting.

Abstracts added to conference as well as full papers to enhance participation

More emphasis on taking more papers from the conference to next step to submit to SBIJ & JSBS

Expanded Spotlight Program- SBI Programs, with added spotlights on Research and Student Affiliates

Officer in Waiting Training- Josh Aaron, Secretary/ Treasurer under Lynn Hoffman

Focus on Book Publications by members- table and and new website information

Outreach presentation with an advertisement  in the Academy of Management program.  Dianne Welsh delivered a presentation that included SBI at the AACSB  Conference in Chicago



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