Local Oxford small businesses, university research commercialization, and student start-up businesses can now all benefit from having a team of top notch business school students assist them in a variety of consulting projects.
Started in the fall of 2014 and funded by a grant from the Hearin Support Foundation, the Student Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development Program is a student business consulting program for high-achieving students in the schools of Business Administration and Accountancy at Ole Miss.
Top students both in academic performance and extracurricular activities are recruited to join the program. The selected students become student employees of the university and are paid for the time they spend working with clients on their projects. The consulting services are offered to clients at no charge.
Deployed in teams of three to four, students work with clients in the areas of customer and market research, product and production solutions, accounting, social media utilization, business planning and strategy, and other areas as needed. The work is conducted under the supervision of the entrepreneurship faculty and the Coordinator of the Student Consulting Program
Some types of engagements the students have completed include:
1) A feasibility study for an entrepreneur who developed a concept for a durable tennis net. The student consultants were responsible for establishing market interest, willingness to pay and manufacturing cost.
2) A project for an entrepreneur and professor emeritus in the acoustics lab to refine his business plan and find investors. The students identified over 50 potential investors, highlighted needed revisions in the business plan, and developed a preliminary go-to-market strategy for the technology.
3) Assisted fast growing early stage company owned by an Ole Miss student that was a previous winner of the Gillespie Business Plan Competition. The project evaluated the feasibility of outsourced production of a natural ingredient dog treat and identified sources to handle the production. Follow on projects with this client are likely.
Supporting the Student Business Consulting program by referring clients and utilizing the consulting resources internally are the Mississippi Small Business Development Centers, the Ole Miss Office of Technology Transfer, and Insight Park’s Innovation Hub.
Recruiting for positions on the team starts near the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students will be expected to work 10-12 hours each week. The hours will vary with different client assignments. Applicants must have strong communication (written and verbal) skills, demonstrated experience in teamwork, and a junior academic standing. Being active in the Entrepreneurship programs is a plus.
Student Application for a position on the team
The online form found here is the fastest way to apply.
Client Application for a consulting engagement
The online form found here is the fastest way to contact us. Once we get your request our program coordinator will contact you and discuss how the program works and how a student team could help you.