The Eller Economic Development Program (EED) utilizes resources from the University of Arizona including Eller College of Management faculty, students, and staff to work with business owners in Southern Arizona to improve their managerial skills and grow their businesses – revenues, profits, and number of employees.
The EED provides three different types of learning experiences for small business owner participants as follows:
The Business Certificate Program consists of two sets (in English and Spanish) of classes in business basics leading to a non-credit business certificate (at least 18 hours of education for 80-100 business owners).
The Business Assistance Program offers consulting services from student, faculty, and other sources for six to eight businesses providing at least 600 student hours per business each spring semester.
A series of workshops are provided, some specifically aimed at networking, and some with speakers on cutting-edge topics such as QuickBooks, social media marketing, and information security.
Faculty and staff from the EED partner with local nonprofit agencies such as the Primavera Foundation, the YWCA, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and others to identify individuals from South Tucson and the surrounding areas who will benefit from the program and also for input regarding the needs of small business owners in their areas.
Over the next few years and with increased funding, we would like to add more services. We plan to expand the Business Certificate Program classes to nearby locations, such as Nogales and Casa Grande, which can be served in person. We would also like to pilot online classes for distant locations such as Yuma and Sierra Vista. In addition, we have had many requests for additional classes in topics such as social media, website effectiveness, and market research. The college McroAge Lab is a perfect setting for classes using internet-based resources and Eller’s faculty are knowledgeable and skilled educators.
In addition, we would like to offer a new set of smaller classes (up to ten) devoted to developing business plans that would not only be appropriate information for lenders, but also help the business owner set business and learning goals related to developing their organizations. Other local organizations provide assistance with business plans but the classes and plans are solely focused on financing whereas we would focus on plans that can be altered in a very flexible manner to meet the dynamic changes in the business landscape.
For additional information, please contact us.