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New SBDC campus office offers practical experience to students

ISSUED: 8 May 2023

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Businesses and students are benefiting from a new partnership between Shepherd University and the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Last summer, the SBDC named Carol Goolsby, clinical assistant professor of business administration, a part-time business coach for the eastern region. She joined full-time coach Michael Boyd, whose office is in the Shepherd University Martinsburg Center. Adding Goolsby to its staff gives the SBDC additional resources, including access to Shepherd’s Applied Business Lab and student interns who can play a role in helping small businesses succeed.

Photos of Dr. Ben Martz, Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Carol Goolsby, and Michael Boyd in Applied Business Lab.

Pictured in the Shepherd University Applied Business Lab (l. to r.) are Dr. Ben Martz, dean, Shepherd University College of Business; Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president; Carol Goolsby, clinical assistant professor, College of Business, and SBDC business coach; and Michael Boyd, SBDC business coach.

The Applied Business Lab has multiple workspaces, including offices, a well-equipped conference room, and a reception area staffed by student interns. Housing the SBDC office in the lab allows business and entrepreneurship students to advance their skills, contacts, and community relations by working with local and student-run small businesses.

“Many small business startups fail due to the lack of access to critical support services that they cannot afford such as the development of business plans, marketing and social media plans, financial projections, and cash flow analysis,” Goolsby said.

“Providing access to College of Business students increases the probability of small business startup success and gives students valuable work experience,” she said. “This significantly enhances the opportunity of success for both the small businesses and the students.”

Goolsby estimates Shepherd students have served 25 businesses since the new arrangement began. Future plans include asking small businesses in Shepherdstown if students can assist them, developing a business incubator, and adding more experiential learning projects for students involving the community, student businesses, SBDC, and University.

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