Wednesday, June 23, 2010

UIC Business Assistance Program

UIC Center for Urban Business, College of Business Administration

Does your company have a project or challenge that you haven’t had the time or resources to address? Are you looking for a fresh set of eyes and innovative ideas to help your company grow or evolve? The Entrepreneurial Student Teams Program (ESTP) at UIC can assist in nine different business areas. Submit your project now and a team of students will work closely with your company and help you solve your business issue.

About the Entrepreneurial Student Teams Program (ESTP)

• Teams are comprised of two to four graduate or upper-level undergraduate students from the College of Business Administration and the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the College of Applied Health Sciences
• UIC professors and senior counselors/consultants oversee all of the student teams' work
• The challenges that the consulting teams work on are determined by the clients’ needs and the skills and interests of the students.
• Upon project completion, clients receive the agreed-upon deliverables
• Project work is typically performed for about 10 to 12 weeks throughout the 16-week semester
• Student consulting work doesn’t entail administrative or task oriented work
• There is an administrative fee (not a fee for counseling or consulting) to participate in the ESTP Program
• The projects’ expected results must not be critical of the success or failure of the company
• You may submit more than one project

Business Must:

• Be a for-profit entity that is physically located in the state of Illinois
• Have been generating revenues for at least two consecutive years
• Have at least three full-time employees
• Be able to designate one staff person to communicate and work with student teams on a weekly basis
• Submit a project that is feasible to complete within a 10 to 12 week period

PROGRAM ONE: Marketing and Strategic Analysis

For companies who are seeking assistance from undergraduate students to work on projects that involve the following:
• Market research and market assessment
• Marketing plan development
• Strategic planning and competitive positioning
• E-commerce planning and consulting
• Exploration of business growth opportunities

PROGRAM TWO: Information Management, Technology and e-Commerce

For companies who are particularly interested in challenges in the area of computer technology, business students majoring or mastering in information and decision sciences will work with business owners to assist in projects such as:
• Business and information systems design
• Enhancement of Website capabilities
• Computer programming, data warehousing, data management or data mining
• Application of technology to address supply chain and operation needs
• Process modeling, decision support, and analytical work
• Business intelligence and simulation
• Social media and computing, market research, and pricing

PROGRAM THREE: Health, Fitness and Wellness Companies

If your company is looking for effective marketing tactics, opportunities to increase sales, or improve customer service, then this program is for you. The UIC Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition has developed a business immersion class called Business Principles for Fitness Professionals, and they are looking to perform the following types of project work:
• Evaluate, analyze and recommend ways for the business owners to improve marketing effectiveness or customer service
• Research, compare and generate an analytical report with recommendations to improve the consumer experience
• Analyze the prospective member tour and recommend value additions for the company to convert prospects into customers
• Investigate the effectiveness of the sales approaches; gather and analyze data; and recommend ways to improve the company’s sales force effectiveness

PROGRAM FOUR: General Strategic Improvement

Students from the MBA Entrepreneurial Consulting class learn to take a broad look at companies and their business environment to identify critical leverage points for profitability and success. They use their knowledge and business experience to develop cross-functional alternatives for your consideration. Having an MBA student team perform a system-based analysis of your operations and strategies will allow you to clearly identify an opportunity or a project you can either execute yourself or submit to another student team in future semesters, such as marketing, information technology, operations or a finance project.


For companies who desire a new branding campaign, students will work with logo design, slogans, print ads and press releases as well as product positioning based upon market research.

PROGRAM SIX: Business Plan Development

For businesses who are seeking to formulate a business plan, students will provide the client with a comprehensive business plan and will work hand-in-hand with the client to conduct market research and create financial projections.

PROGRAM SEVEN: Financial Management

For small and midsize companies seeking a corporate finance project including:

• Financial forecasting
• Ratio and spreadsheet analysis
• Lease vs. Buy options
• Working capital management
• Business value and time value of money
• Valuation/Acquisition
• Exit strategy
• Reorganization and bankruptcy

PROGRAM EIGHT: On-campus Integrative Marketing Campaign

For companies who are interested in reaching the diverse collegiate target market, this campaign requires an engaged partner who is willing to provide some financial assistance so students can do a real marketing event on campus. Students will:
• Conduct pre- and post-market research
• Create and distribute press releases
• Create advertisements
• Perform branding and multimedia publicity e.g. YouTube videos, event marketing, etc.

PROGRAM NINE: Projects with an Asian Perspective

The MBA Entrepreneurial Consulting class includes many students who already have successful experience and connections in companies in China, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. This gives them a unique ability to help companies attempting to create or improve Asian aspects to their business, whether new markets, new suppliers or new partners.

How to Apply

Electronic submission is easy. Go to and sign up by completing the ESTP application and the ESTP Request for Counseling Form. Incomplete applications will not be considered for the program.

Term of Project: Fall Semester 2010 (August 23 - December 10, 2010)

Applications Due: July 23rd, 2010 (applications are selected on a first come first served basis)

Administrative Fees to Participate in ESTP Program

• $500 for companies with gross revenues of less than $500K
• $1,000 for companies with gross revenues of $500K to $5MM
• $1,500 for companies with gross revenues of more than $5MM

About Us
Since 1993, the mission of the Center for Urban Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been to provide clients with the support and resources essential to start and grow their enterprises. This support has included training, consulting services, mentoring programs and connections with resources
to generate contracts and financing. The Center for Urban Business, a unit within the College of Business Administration, is part of UIC's Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. In August 2002, we expanded the scope and impact of our services by becoming an Illinois Small Business Development Center. As a designated SBDC, we continue our mission of assisting companies in moving to that next level of growth by providing in-depth, ongoing support in the areas of
management, marketing, and finance. Assistance is also provided in the areas of business and marketing plan preparation, securing capital, improving business skills, among other business management needs.


For more information, please contact Victoria Gheorghe, Assistant Director, at or (312) 996-4057. Visit also for additional details.


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