Small Business Development

ETeams are cross-disciplinary, student-led teams that assist micro-enterprises in using IT to grow their businesses. This process is carried out by IT Therapists who administer customized solutions to address very specific business problems. The IT Therapists administer these solutions through training, trust building, and technology implementation. The outcomes of these interventions are measured in terms of economic, social, and human development criteria. The training of IT Therapists began in 2006 with the IT for Development course offered in the College of IS&T (link) . These IT Therapists became part of ETeams in 2007 when funding was secured for them through the NU Foundation. Since then additional funding sources have enabled a larger sample of small businesses to be served. Over 100 businesses have been part of this process since the start of this program. So far improvements have been measured in terms of administrative efficiencies, access to new markets, and learning and labor productivity.

This program trains micro-enterprise owners how to use information technology effectively by providing needs-based information systems training, technical assistance and operations and development services to micro-enterprises. Micro-enterprise owners gain the skills and knowledge necessary to use information technology to grow their businesses, and learn to access new customers and markets, achieve administrative efficiencies, improve their businesses, and increase productivity. Current efforts have focused on highly customized interventions of technology, know-how, and guidance for individual microenterprises. Students work on location with the micro-entrepreneurs to provide customized technology-based solutions to pressing business problems.

The following image shows a few of the Micro Enterprises who were serviced by student eteams

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