Small-business owners who are interested in receiving free consultations from UCCI business students are invited to apply to the Student Consulting Programme, a joint initiative between UCCI and the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI).

The deadline to apply is Friday, 9 January. Cayman National Bank is sponsoring the programme, in order to cover expenses incurred by the students as part of their consultancy.

The 10-week programme matches each successful applicant with a team of students who are enrolled in the University College of the Cayman Islands' upper-level Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management course. The teams will be guided in their consultancy by UCCI professors.

'This is a great opportunity for our business community to interact with our students, in order to give our youth hands-on experience to deal with issues faced by entrepreneurs', said DCI Director Ryan Rajkumarsingh. 'I see this as a win-win for both entrepreneurs and students'.

DCI Business Services Officer Thais Ducent said the initiative gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.

'The small businesses that have participated in the past also benefited from free and confidential access to DCI advisers and UCCI faculty', she noted.

Business owners who best demonstrate a core need in a specific area – for example, marketing, accounts, business management, etc. – will be those selected to participate. This will allow programme facilitators to better match the businesses with students in particular fields of study.

The selection criteria are:

  • the owner's business must be established, not a start-up; although non-profits are considered, for-profits are given preference;
  • the business must have a problem area that, when resolved, will result in an improvement to the business;
  • the business owner must have a sincere interest in solving problems and improving business operations; and
  • the owner / manager must express a willingness to spend the necessary time and effort with the student team.

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