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WSU’s Carson College of Business launches free consulting program

Two students converse about business
Carson Business Solutions pairs business students with small companies and nonprofits, providing free business consulting. (file photo, Carson College of Business.)

PULLMAN, Wash. – Small businesses in Washington can sign up for free consulting through a new program launched by the WSU Carson College of Business.

Carson Business Solutions pairs teams of business students with small companies to provide 13 weeks of confidential, no-cost consulting. The student teams each work with a volunteer coach, who provides mentoring during the consulting process.

Carson Business Solutions has a dual mission, said Garth Mader, the program’s director and a clinical assistant professor in the college’s Department of Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship.

“For businesses, we serve as a free resource to companies across the state, helping them address challenges, develop new opportunities and drive business innovation,” he said. “For students, we offer the valuable opportunity of working with a real business to solve a real problem or develop an opportunity.”

Student teams will meet weekly with their coach and the business owner and other company executives. They will spend about 10 hours per week on the consulting project, presenting to the client three times over the course of the semester.

“Being able to work directly with the owner of a company or a top executive is a remarkable experience for students. They’ll have a significant project to put on their résumé,” said Mader, a former industry professional known for his work in creating new customer experiences and helping drive efficiency, scale and profitability in e-commerce startups.

Carson Business Solutions will work with 24 companies during the 2020-2021 academic year – 12 in the fall semester and 12 in the spring semester. The fall program is full, but there are still a few openings in the spring semester.

The program will serve small businesses and nonprofits across the state, although southwest Washington is already served by a similar program at WSU Vancouver. The Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program was founded in 2011, and its success was instrumental in the launch of Carson Business Solutions.

For more information about the new program, visit Carson Business Solutions. In addition to prospective clients, volunteer coaches are needed to mentor student teams.

Media contacts:

  • Garth Mader, director of Carson Business Solutions, Carson College of Business, 509-335-9807,
  • Becky Kramer, communications manager, Carson College of Business, cell 208-661-0197,

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