Teaming up with business schools pays off.
Small businesses looking for sharp minds can benefit from two programs that connect education and entrepreneurship.
- The Urban Enterprise Corps, housed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, matches women and minority entrepreneurs with MBA graduates from 30 top business schools around the country. The appropriate graduate is matched with the company and hired and paid by the company as a consultant for one year, with the option of renewing the relationship for an additional year.
The program targets companies in North Carolina that have at least $1 million in annual revenues, have been in business three to five years and are in high-growth industries, such as environmental technology, construction, agile manufacturing, logistics and telecommunications.
Interested entrepreneurs can begin applying in July; once a match is made, the graduate begins working for the company immediately. Entrepreneurs are responsible for paying the individual's salary and benefits, and are reimbursed for the salaries on a monthly basis. There is also a fee to participate in the program.
For more information or to apply for a match, access the program's Web site at www.bschool.unc.edu/infocenters/kenan_institute.html or call the Urban Enterprise Corps at (919) 962-1535.
- In New York, the Long Island Association's Project Long Island pairs students from one of the area's 20 colleges with local companies for internships.
Students with backgrounds in areas such as engineering and science are matched with companies for paid and unpaid internships to handle a variety of tasks. Businesses can then tap into the students' high-tech skills to help grow their companies.
Long Island entrepreneurs interested in hiring an intern should register with the association by calling (516) 295-5373. Be prepared to describe what type of intern you're looking for, what their duties will be and whether they will be paid.