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Student to Business Initiative
Experiential Learning for UMD Students
2018 SBI Program - Pictured: (top) Duluth Coffee Co.,
(left) Fond du Lac Gas & Grocery, (right) Trailfitters
This experiential and active learning opportunity for current and professional UMD students requires teams to consult with your business under the direction of faculty members. Student to Business Initiative (SBI) course topics currently include Consumer Behavior, Accounting, and Advertising. *Businesses may be asked to pay fees for printing the team's final report, receiving a DVD of the students' files, and other items relevant to the course.
Many businesses report positive outcomes by implementing recommendations presented by the student teams, and some businesses participate multiple years in different programs:
"It was a pleasure working with the students through the SBI Program. They listened to what we wanted to achieve and came up with a great marketing strategy for our business. We look forward to implementing their recommendations in the coming months and seeing where it takes us."
- Wade Karnes, Zakobe LLC, participated in the Marketing Advertising Program in the Fall of 2017
Click on the SBI Program Name for more Information
Consumer Behavior SBI Program
The Consumer Behavior SBI Program gives businesses an in-depth analysis of how customers interact with and perceive their place of business based on consumer behavior principles.
- Analyze the business environment and customer interactions.
- Identify key target markets of the current customer base.
- Analyze the current use of consumer behavior principles in the establishment.
- Make recommendations on how the business can alter the interaction or the environment to enhance the relationship with customers and potentially increase sales.
The cost of participation in the Consumer Behavior Program: $50.00 (scholarships may apply)
Accounting SBI Program
The Accounting SBI Program gives businesses a fresh perspective on their business financials, trends in the industry, and a budget for the next year.
- Providing financial and marketing information including the past 3 years of tax statements.
With this information students will provide the business with:
- Three-year historical financial analysis.
- Three-year ratio analysis.
- Trend analysis of your business.
- The opportunity to expand QuickBooks usage and reporting for your business.
- The opportunity to prepare next year’s budget for your business.
The cost of participation in the Accounting Program: $50.00 (scholarships may apply)
Green Marketing SBI Program
The Green Marketing SBI Program seeks to help businesses satisfy today’s cultural norm of “going green”. Words like “recyclable”, “reusable”, and “fair trade” have become a crucial part of today’s business strategy, and for some businesses, a crucial part of their business culture.
- Providing the business's current marketing information.
- Providing information regarding the business’s current consumption.
- Examine the current marketing strategies of the business.
- Analyze the current consumption process of the business.
- Make valuable recommendations pertaining to green marketing activities and tactics that may include:
- Product modification
- Packaging changes
- Modifying pricing
- Advertising and logistics
The cost of participation in the Green Marketing Program: $50.00 (scholarships may apply)
Social Media Marketing SBI Program
The Social Media Marketing SBI Program gives businesses an updated and effective marketing communications plan to use.
- Provide information on current social media platforms the business is using
- Conduct a situational analysis, including identifying, analyzing, and researching target audiences, social media habits, lifestyles, and activities.
- Develop a positioning strategy and persona for the target audience.
- Identify communication objectives, strategies, and tactics.
- Select social media zones and vehicles.
- Create a content strategy encompassing selected social media zones and vehicles.
- Establish an implementation plan including ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
The cost of participation in the Social Media Marketing SBI Program: $50.00 (scholarships may apply).
Retail SBI Program
The Retail SBI Program covers the principles of establishing and operating a retail business. There is an emphasis on retail management from a strategic perspective.
Students will cover:
- Retail marketing analysis and research
- Store layout
- Retail accounting
- Merchandise selection and financing
- Budgets and current trends
The cost of participation in the Retail SBI Program: $50.00 (scholarships may apply)
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and regional support partners. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the program sponsors. Programs are open to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact UMD CED at 218-726-7298.