BU Offers Free Support to Area Businesses

January 30, 2014

BRANDON, MB – A long-running program that provides free expertise to Westman businesses is looking for new partners to assist in 2014.

The Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) pairs local merchants with fourth-year business students from Brandon University (BU), to develop solutions to challenges the businesses are facing. BU professor and Chartered Accountant Mike Malazdrewicz started the BIZ in 2002 and says anywhere from 12 to 20 businesses have benefited from the program each year.

Mike Malazdrewicz and Business Administration students, 2014 (web)

Mike Malazdrewicz and Business Administration students

“You get a couple of bright, university-educated students,” says Malazdrewicz, “overseen by a experienced business manager, focused on a particular challenge facing your business that you don’t have the time or resources to tackle yourself. It’s a win-win situation.”

Malazdrewicz says his students have tackled a myriad of situations which inevitably stem from four main problems that can plague small businesses: inadequate sales, inadequate cash, a lack of systems, and the failure to implement.

When Jordan Ludwig, Vice-President of Brandon Business Interiors, was looking to increase market share in underserved and rural communities, he turned the project into a BIZ opportunity.

“The students did a cost analysis including product sourcing, pricing, processing and even returns” says Ludwig. “They presented me with a turn-key solution. I was blown away by the caliber of their work.”

To have your business considered for a BIZ project, please contact Mike Malazdrewicz at mikem@brandonu.ca  before the end of January. Applications will be processed in February and the projects will be completed by the end of the term in April.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

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For more information, please contact:
Michael Malazdrewicz
Dept. of Business Administration
204-727-9610
malazdrewiczm@Brandonu.ca
Glen Kirby
Communications Officer
204-727-9762
kirbyg@brandonu.ca