With this enthusiastic declaration, Toby Stuart, the Academic Director of the Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship and Arthur J. Samberg Professor of Business kicked off the Small Business Consulting Program’s (“SBCP”) 2nd Annual Client-Student Mixer. The SBCP Client-Student Mixer is the inaugural event that provides SBCP members the opportunity to learn more about a company and its consulting project before SBCP members submit their project request.
What is SBCP? The Small Business Consulting Program is a student organization which offers its members an exciting and challenging opportunity to complement their studies with real world application of business skills and tools, while contributing to the local community. SBCP members work with entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and other businesses in the New York City area to provide quality pro-bono consulting services in a broad range of areas, including accounting, finance, marketing, organizational development, operations, e-commerce and strategy. During the fall semester, SBCP members receive consulting training from professional consultants through an educational 5-part series that focuses on topics such as “Tools of the Trade” and “Consulting for Non Profits.” Projects typically begin at the end of the fall semester and finish at the end of the spring semester. Since its inception in 1998, the SBCP has grown to 227 current members, demonstrating the strong interest of Columbia students in participating in consulting programs and being actively involved in entrepreneurial ventures.
On November 1st, the Small Business Consulting Program held the 2nd Annual Client-Student Mixer. Over 80 students and more than 30 small business and non-profit organizations attended the event. The evening commenced with a keynote address by Toby Stuart who observed that the SBCP Client-Student mixer was a “very rare opportunity to encourage careers in strategy and entrepreneurship.” Stuart discussed how participation in an SBCP project was a unique opportunity to apply material learned in school and benefit others. Finally, Stuart held great optimism for the SBCP projects because the two ingredients for success of any consulting project were obviously present at the mixer: 1) high level of enthusiasm of people engaged in the project and 2) the projects being mutually beneficial opportunities for both students and clients.