Armstrong students mentor small businesses

Students at Armstrong State University in Savannah formed partnerships with small businesses. It’s a chance for those businesses to get free consulting and the students to get valuable real-world experience.

“For three months, (the students) spend time in the field with the client, asking questions, gathering primary data and gathering secondary data to get an idea of the business and how they can help,” said Dennis Barber, the professor in charge of the program.

Barber said this is the first semester that Armstrong has offered this model for learning under the Small Business Institute.

Teams of students are working with five local small businesses, including the Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market.

wilmington island farmers market

The students are currently still gathering all the facts about how the market operates, but some key recommendations have already been offered: One student suggested the market provide transportation for seniors to attend and that is now in the works.

Residents at the Summer Breeze Senior Living center will be bussed in once a month.

“It was as simple as that,” said WIFM’s Deborah McIncrow, about the idea. “We’d been waiting for that one right suggestion and it came in that first meeting. So, we’re off to a great start with Armstrong for sure.”

“There’s always something we can do better,” said WIFM’s Leigh Ann Hammen, about the partnership with the students. “There are always good ideas to be had and fresh perspective is really, really appreciated because we’re only four years old, but we know there are things we can do better. So, we’re looking forward to that.”

The Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market will take place on Saturdays, starting March 5th. It will now be held in the parking lot of Islands High School on Whitemarsh Island Road. Pets will be allowed this year and EBT cards will now be accepted. The WIFM is also working with Wholesome Wave Georgia this year, which provides funds to double food stamp amounts at farmers’ markets.

The Small Business Institute at Armstrong State will be looking for new businesses to partner with next year. For more information, click here.

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