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Nazarian College Business Honors Students Place First at 2021 SBI Conference

March 10, 2021

Nazarian College Business Honors Students Place First at 2021 SBI Conference

Business Honors students at California State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) David Nazarian College of Business and Economics placed first in the Comprehensive Project of the Year, the largest and most competitive category, at the 2021 Small Business Institute Competition and Conference, held virtually from February 25-26. 

“This is an especially significant accomplishment for our students and the Business Honors Program due to the challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Chandra Subramaniam, dean of the Nazarian College. “The entire consulting process was flipped on its head when we were forced to go to virtual instruction in the middle of the spring 2020 semester, but our students persevered and adapted, coming out beyond successful on the other side. We are extremely proud.”

[Pictured left to right - First Place Student Team Members : Sara Alteryd, Leila Esmaeili, and Marketa Pospechova]

The student team was recognized for their small business consulting project with the client, Stevie Howell, LLC, a textile print design company based out of San Francisco, CA. Team members Sara Alteryd (Marketing & Business Honors), Leila Esmaeili (Finance/Financial Analysis & Business Honors), and Marketa Pospechova (Systems and Operations Management & Business Honors) completed the project as part of the spring 2020 Business Honors Capstone course, taught by management lecturer Dr. Drew Foley in collaboration with program director, Dr. Silvina Bamrungpong.

The team’s final client report was selected for its analysis and recommendation for improvements to marketing, finance, and operations of the company.

This competition marks the ninth consecutive year in which Nazarian College Business Honors students were invited as finalists and received high recognition for their work in the program’s capstone course. 

In 2019, the Business Honors Program, led by management professor Dr. Silvina Bamrungpong, took the Small Business Consulting Program to a new level through its partnership with FoundLA and the Wurwand Foundation. The partnership includes a five-year commitment between the foundation, the Nazarian College, and the Business Honors program to work together for the benefit of local small businesses led by underrepresented groups.

About Small Business Institute (SBI)

The Small Business Institute (SBI) began in 1972 as a cooperative pilot venture between the United States Small Business Administration and Texas Tech University. It has become the premier professional association of small business, entrepreneurship educators and researchers, and it aims to improve entrepreneurship education through a faculty-guided, student-based field case consulting program known as Project of the Year (POY) Experimental Learning competition.

In its 45-year history, more than 500 universities and colleges across the U.S. and internationally have participated in the POY competition. The purpose of the competition is to recognize outstanding student work in consulting. As a result, student participants gain valuable hands-on experience in business, gain a sense of achievement and earn respect. Winning teams receive a plaque engraved with all team members’ names.