Two faculty members from WCU’s College of Business presented at the national conference of America’s Small Business Development Centers in September.
The presentation by assistant professor Wendy Cagle and associate professor Yue Cai Hillon centered on how collaboration with WCU students in the Master of Business Administration Program has assisted medium-sized enterprises in the Western North Carolina region.
The three-day ASBDC conference brought together chapters of the college-based small business assistance network, sharing new approaches to enable their clients to better develop their business ventures.
Hillon said about 50 business consultants from various small business centers across the country attended the presentation. “The audience was highly engaged and interested in how WCU has created a system in collaboration with the North Carolina SBTDC that allows them to involve MBA students as part of their consulting work,” she said.
Cagle, also a former regional director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center at WCU, said that when companies have challenges around growth, the owners and managers need a new perspective on both the industry and the company’s target market.
“The MBA students bring a breath of fresh air to these companies and a new perspective to these challenges,” she said. “Some business owners begin the student team engagement with an idea of putting a plan in place to sell their company, but after the final presentation they have changed their mind. They are re-energized and have found their passion for the business again.”