Participant levels soar for UCCI's Student Consulting Programme
Participation levels are at an all-time high for an annual programme that offers small businesses free and confidential advice, which launched in mid-February.
Now in its 10th year the Student Consulting Programme partners small businesses with upper-level business students of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI).
It is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Commerce, the University College of the Cayman Islands and Cayman National Bank.
This year marks the highest student and business participation rate, with a total of 19 students and seven small businesses. It is also the first year that some of the small businesses have been owned by alumni of UCCI and in another first by teenagers.
“Supporting small business is one of the most important priorities for my Ministry,” notes Minister for Commerce, =Joey Hew.
Hew adds: “This programme is just one way in which the ministry is working to encourage and develop businesses. I’m so pleased with the high number of participants this year and am excited to see how their business will grow.”
Annette Murphy, a senior lecturer at UCCI and the programme coordinator says the programme is a benefit to all parties, “This really is a win-win for everyone. The collaborative nature of the programme means that students gain real work experience, while businesses gain free consultation.”
Thirteen year old Jade Barnard says she’s participating because she wants to see her business grow. She and her fifteen year old brother Luke Barnard own a recycling company. “More people have wanted to join in with our company and we want to employ other teenagers, so we want to learn how we can expand our business.”
Student Brandon Glasgow says he’s excited to jump into the process.
“It’s exciting to go from the textbook knowledge to practical knowledge. I’m ready to see and implement the theory we’ve been learning in class.”
The programme will run for 10 weeks.