Campus: Sonoma State University -- December 22, 2004

SSU Students Offer Small-Business Mentoring to Ten North Bay Companies

Small-business consultation for North Bay firms is being offered by the Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics in the spring of 2005.

Under the guidance of SSU faculty, business students will meet with small-business owners in the North Bay, develop a scope of work, and confer with proprietors on a weekly basis. Students will participate in intensive real-life studies of active businesses, and take dynamic roles in shaping the future of an enterprise.

In order to participate in the student business consultation, owners must run a small, for-profit business, have a desire to expand their enterprise, have at least one other employee, and must have been an established firm for one year or more.

At the conclusion of the spring semester, the student consultants present a final analysis, including findings and proposals for future operations. These include performance audits, strategic and financial planning, market research, financial forecasting, personnel policies, and customer acquisition and retention programs.

SSU's student business consultation earned the "Small Business Consulting Case of the Year" award from the Small Business Institute Director's Association in 1996 and 1998. Businesses that have employed this service in the past include Parmatech, Wilderness Trail Bikes, The Sonoma Cider Mill, Floral Fantasies and Grateful Bagel.

Applications for the program must be received by Jan. 26. The program is open to ten businesses. To participate, business owners donate $500 to a scholarship fund that will allow students with financial needs to attend the Entrepreneurial Excellence Course in May 2005.

For more information, contact business professor Armand Gilinsky at (707) 664-2709 or e-mail

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