Student Team Assists Local Small Business with Award Winning Consulting
March 30, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – The Small Business Institute® (SBI®), the premier provider of professional development for those engaged in experiential student team consulting and related entrepreneurship education, research and activities and the link between business, education and community, recently announced that a student team from the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) College of Business Administration and College of Engineering was a winner in its annual Experiential Learning Project of the Year (POY) competition, taking 1st Place in the 2021-22 ‘Graduate Comprehensive’ category.
In competition with MBA teams from across the country, the UCF student team of Ben Park, Christopher Gray Miller, and Tarrik Harb won 1st Place in the ‘Graduate Comprehensive’ category on the strength of their consulting project for Dovi Window Designs, Inc., a Volusia County-based windows and doors contractor and installer.
Sponsored by the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF (FSBDC at UCF), this is the 17th time that a UCF student team has won an award in the 12 years that UCF and the FSBDC have participated in the SBI® national competition.
The Small Business Institute® is featured in a graduate level class in the UCF College of Business (UCF CBA): ENT 5946 – Small Business Consulting. The class is led by faculty advisor Dr. Carl Blencke, an instructor for the UCF CBA’s Department of Management, as part of a management class. Ms. Jill Kaufman, Assistant Director, and Program Manager, with assistance from Ms. Jessica Ali, Program Coordinator and Associate Consultant, oversees and manages the program for the FSBDC which recruits clients and carefully evaluates the students’ skills to create an ideal match with the clients’ needs in order to produce meaningful consulting engagement. In the case of Dovi Window Designs, the student team was guided through the process by its Case Supervisor, Jose Molfino, an FSBDC Consultant with both a business and engineering background as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
“It is truly gratifying to recognize these UCF students for winning this prestigious award,” said Rebecca Bennett, PhD., Professor of Management and Interim Chair of the Department of Management. “Utilizing the SBI® program as part of our course offering is a valuable experiential learning platform which contributes to the quality of the student educational opportunity at the University of Central Florida and an important educational partnership between UCF and the FSBDC.”
“The SBI® and this 1st Place honor are a win-win-win: for our UCF students, for our FSBDC client, and for UCF itself,” commented Eunice Choi, Regional Director for the FSBDC at UCF. “Congratulations to the students who have contributed to a small business’s growth, to our client Adam Dovi and Dovi Window Designs for his future opportunities, and to UCF for offering a class that so admirably serves its students and its Central Florida business community.”
“The FSBDC at UCF and UCF partnership supporting the SBI® is indicative of our shared commitment to the small businesses in Central Florida while also offering experiential learning opportunities to UCF students. It demonstrates UCF’s commitment to our community and to growing the local economy, and the FSBDC’s contribution to furthering UCF’s educational mission” continues Choi.
“A team of three graduate level students from UCF out classed, outperformed, and out hustled each and every consultation team I have hired over the past 20 years. It was an absolute breath of fresh air to deal with a team so well organized and focused. They have made a greater impact on our company than they will ever know,” said Adam Dovi, the owner of Dovi Windows Designs, Inc and FSBDC client.
The student team’s contribution to Dovi Windows & Doors was substantial. During the initial discovery meeting, the team met with the client to probe for his pain points and determined that they could have the greatest impact by developing strategies to enhance project workflow processes and workflow mapping, better aligning roles and responsibilities, and identifying and supporting implementation of productivity enhancement tools – all with the goal of increasing production capacity and streamlining operations. Utilizing their backgrounds in industrial engineering and especially in the era of pandemic and supply chain limitations, the team was able to create efficiencies that helped the client meet his short-term needs while preparing the business for greater success in the future.
About the Small Business Institute® Program in Central Florida
The Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) sponsors the Small Business Institute® in Central Florida and, in conjunction with the Department of Management at the UCF College of Business Administration, manages the SBI® program locally. It recruits and evaluates FSBDC clients for the program, lends FSBDC consultants as SBI® case supervisors, and provides a range of guidance and support.
At the UCF College of Business Administration (UCF CBA), SBI® is a graduate‐level elective course. Students enrolled in the class provide management consulting services to local small businesses. Each student team has direct contact with the client and produces a professional case report. The report is the ultimate product of the program and is tailored to each business. Case study reports have included market research, marketing plans, competitive analysis, advertising strategy, customer surveys, strategic plans, financial analysis, human resource manuals, and business plans.
The SBI® Program is offered as a full-semester credit course through the CBA’s Department of Management. During the semester, the student teams oversee and implement extensive research and analysis to determine industry best practices; meet regularly to understand company processes and procedures; and performed wide-ranging analysis of business and industry strategies and performance. As a result of their efforts, the students are able to provide a comprehensive analysis and set of recommendations.
SBI® is a nation‐wide program that provides high‐quality business assistance to companies in need while providing an extraordinary opportunity for university students to learn through field case studies. Each project is led and conducted by a group of students under the supervision of an SBI® Director or faculty member. The experience is often cited by students as being one of the most rewarding of their academic careers. In today’s collegiate environment there is a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and the SBI® has been at the forefront of this movement for over thirty years.
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.
The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $59.1 million in capital formation; $53.4 million in government contract awards; and 86 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .
About the Florida SBDC Network
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.
In 2020, Florida SBDCs provided 162,519 hours of professional business consulting to more than 24,100 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $488 million in government contracts acquired; and $553.5 million in capital accessed.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.