The wharton school small business development center
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The Wharton School Small Business Development Center whartonsbdc.wharton.upenn.edu A part of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurship Center, and the Pennsylvania SBDC network. The Center receives its funding from The Wharton School, the Department of Community and Economic Development

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The Wharton School Small Business Development Center

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The Wharton SchoolSmall Business Development Center

whartonsbdc.wharton.upenn.edu

A part of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurship Center, and the Pennsylvania SBDC network.

The Center receives its funding from The Wharton School, the Department of Community and Economic Development

(DCED) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and by the U.S. Small Business Administration


What is the Wharton SBDC?

The SBDC: “Where Theory Meets Practice”

…assists high potential entrepreneurs to build their businesses by developing and providing frameworks that facilitate data-driven decisions

Our Mission:

…to accelerate economic growth, promote entrepreneurship, and enhance the educational experience of students at the Wharton School

Our Consultants

30 Consultants (Undergraduates)

25 Senior Consultants (MBAs)


Our Leadership…

Leslie E. Mitts

Managing Practice Leader

Leslie Mitts graduated from the Wharton MBA program in 1990. She is a former consultant, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur with expertise in the information technology industry.

Samuel Reeves

Head of Undergraduate Program

Samuel Reeves graduated from Wharton in 2005. As current head of the Undergraduate Consulting Program, he works with Wharton students to diagnose and solve client business problems. Samuel is also an entrepreneur as a co-founder of Humanistic Robotics, Inc..

Dr. M. Therese Flaherty

Director

Dr. Flaherty has 25 years of experience as a professor at Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford. She has also led the international and professional expansion of Wharton’s Global Consulting Practicum..

Prof. Eric T. Bradlow

Academic Director

Prof. Bradlow is the K.P. Chao Professor of Marketing, Statistics, and Education. He has renowned expertise in in market research methods, branding, and e-commerce. He has been awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels.


Our Clients

  • Representative Clients:

    • Locally-Focused Small Businesses

      • Jewelry Store

      • Custom Publisher

      • Gym/Fitness Center

      • IT Consulting Firms

    • Multi-Million Dollar, Family-Owned Operating Businesses

      • Real Estate Holding Company

      • CD/DVD Duplication Company

      • Sneaker Retail Chain

    • Venture-Backed Technology-Based Businesses

      • Pharmaceutical Information System

      • Food Technology

      • E-Commerce website for upscale home design market

    • Private equity and venture capital funds


Our Clients…

Stage at Which the Entrepreneur is Executing

Maturity

Decline & Re-Generation

Nature

of

Business

Growth

First Steps and Strategic Business Planning Classes and Consulting

Startup

SBDC and the

Business Life Cycle

Strategic

InnovationConsulting Practice


Our Process & The Consultant’s Role


The Job of The Consultant

  • Collaborative consulting engagements with our Senior Consultants (MBAs)

    • Conducting background industry research, financial and operational analysis to create an initial diagnosis

    • Collaborating with MBA on later-stage research

  • Independent consulting engagements led by undergraduate consultants

    • Ugrad responsibility to understand diagnosis, work with staff to scope a project, do the research and the analysis, and finally, present conclusions to client

  • Internal Process Innovation

    • Consultants frequently work on special projects designed to make consulting more effective and beneficial for learning. The SBDC is an open environment where we welcome contributions that make a difference to our model.

    • Our current model was created in summer 2006 by our consultants!

    • Slavena Bardarova Wharton ’08


Client Organization and Situation Snapshot


Industry Synthesis and Competitive Overview


Financial Analysis and Models


Identifying Tactical and Long-Term Strategic Challenges

“I definitely think that the consultant did a terrific job on this case. The deck was very comprehensive and insightful. The data was shown in a way that had impact and the hypotheses he developed were a terrific starting point for me. I was able to take his work and share it with the client and it made it easier to establish the boundaries of the case and show the client that we were making a real effort to understand her business.”

Cheryl Uynicky

MBA ‘07


Developing the Engagement Diagnosis


Generating Hypotheses for Possible Solutions


Kevin Castellano, Wharton ‘08

The Value of a Consulting Experience

  • “Where Theory Meets Practice:” Applying academic frameworks to real businesses

    • Strategy and Competitive Analyses

    • Marketing

    • Financial Analysis

    • Operations

  • Mentorship from experienced undergraduate consultants, MBA consultants, and professional staff

  • Client Management Skills

    • Managing Expectations

    • Communicating Information

    • Catalyzing Successful Execution

    • Collaborative Problem Solving

  • Making a Measurable Economic Difference in Philadelphia

    • Growing the local economy

    • Improving entrepreneurs’ lives

  • Preparation for the Internship/Full-Time Recruiting Process


Let’s hear from some

Undergraduate Consultants…


“The WSBDC has really helped me develop a wide variety of skills- from industry research to cost accounting to analytical problem solving to client relationship management. At the SBDC, you gain responsibility quickly. One of the best things about SBDC is the entrepreneurial environment- everyone is always open to suggestions and ideas to improve the program.”

-Jackie Inglesby

Wharton ‘08


--Joanne Tong, W ‘08

Working at the SBDC has been the perfect on-campus job. Working on real cases complements my classroom learning, giving me exposure to industries that I'm personally interested in, such as retailing, as well as allowing me to explore unfamiliar fields like insurance and real estate.

I also have the pleasure of working with a team of bright and passionate individuals. The people at the SBDC are a great support and resource network, and our clients a tremendous inspiration for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

The community service aspect is also a big draw-- what better way to apply what we learn than by sharing our resources with those who have great ideas that will benefit the local economy?


“Working at SBDC has been a highlight of studying at Penn. The variety of clients and the flexibility given for undergraduates to define the engagement means that each case is a learning opportunity and a challenge. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the SBDC community of enthusiastic undergraduates, MBA’s and staff. There is always someone to bounce ideas off of, and teams are encouraged for larger cases. The community, as well as chances to communicate directly with the entrepreneurs and business owners, makes working here enjoyable. Lastly as the program continues to grow there is an entrepreneurial atmosphere to the center that encourages trying new approaches and attempts to improve existing practices.”

- Matthew Owens M&T ‘09

  • Since August I have worked with:

  • Windshield Glass Repair Service

  • Telecommunications Equipment Supplier

  • Nanotechnology for Printed Circuits

  • Professional Staffing Firm

  • Herbal Drink Startup


Timeline & Application Process

Application Process:

Submission of ApplicationsMidnight, September 16

Interview NotificationSeptember 17

InterviewsSeptember 19-21

Please Send Resumes & Cover letters to Samuel Reeves at sbdc_mail@wharton.upenn.edu with the subject line “Fall Undergraduate Consultant”

GOOD LUCK!


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