Georgetown MBAs are helping small businesses in the Washington, D.C., area find success through a popular McDonough School of Business course known as the Small Business Clinic. This MBA-only class, taught by adjunct professor James Hunt, assists students in developing business plans and aids them with legal, accounting, and finance issues when putting together strategies for small businesses and non-profits.
Professor Hunt has started, grown, and sold several companies with sales revenues of up to $100 million and is an angel investor and board member of many others.
According to the school, the Small Business Clinic targets business clients that are socially responsible, often women-or minority owned, and committed to staying locally owned. This year, students examined projects from 16 companies, then voted on six to receive their services, which ultimately will amount to tens of thousands of dollars worth of free consulting.
One of the selected organizations, Washington Middle School for Girls (WMSG), serves girls living in an under-served urban area who are at risk of leaving school prematurely. For this company, Georgetown students are developing an actionable and sustainable plan to cultivate a community of young donors online.
By tapping into various social media outlets and grouping people by their affinities and interests, the Georgetown team has already helped WMSG tailor their outreach message and connect with each group via social media, rather than relying solely on an email-only communication method. Among other deliverables, they will provide their client with a one-year plan to create a young donor network.
“Like many nonprofit organizations, we are always faced with the challenge of growing our community of supporters. With the expert assistance of students from Georgetown McDonough School of Business, we know we are on a path to success,” says the WMSG’s Kathleen McMackin, director of development and community outreach.
“The Small Business Clinic is a great combination of academic focus and real-world practicum. The companies and nonprofits we work for have been overwhelmingly appreciative of the work product the students produce and, in many cases, have taken the projects and baked the results into their ongoing corporate initiatives. Along with Adjunct Professors Steve Goldenberg and Smith Wood, it has been a very fun, challenging and gratifying course to teach,” Hunt says.