Timothy Dunne, Ph.D.
As we reflect on our most recent Small Business Institute® Annual Conference, and excitedly set our sights on future conferences, we – as your SBI Board of Directors – attempt to practice what we preach, or rather teach. Thus, I am inclined to reflect on the value proposition of the Small Business Institute®. Since the mission of the SBI seeks to benefit faculty, students, and the business community, our purpose is to continually focus on the value the SBI provides to each of those stakeholders.
Faculty who attend the SBI Annual Conference and/or who teach in SBI programs have repeatedly shared how much value they receive by being a part of SBI. Our members are some of the best entrepreneurship researchers in the world, and our annual conference offers numerous occasions to share ideas, get advice, network, present research, and many other activities that generate research opportunities. I can personally attest that I have never walked away from a single SBI conference without at least one new research project that originated during the conference. Additionally, thanks to our longtime colleague, and friend, Matthew Sonfield, we have also been able to add value by offering the first annual Matthew Sonfield Research Award, awarded to the best paper published in either the Journal of Small Business Strategy, or the Small Business Institute Journal.
In addition to supporting faculty research, the Small Business Institute® also offers value through many pedagogical and professional development activities. SBI has long been the premier organization dedicated to experiential learning. For nearly 50 years, the SBI annual conference has offered presentations, workshops, and paper sessions that feature best practices for teaching using experiential learning. The practical application for transferring those activities to our students is easy to see, even if it is difficult to quantify. As an organization, we constantly seek to innovate and improve our ability to benefit students. During the past year, we added a student consulting project to our program to leverage the benefit students receive by getting real world experiences through their entrepreneurship education. That new program compliments our Project of the Year (POY) program as well as our other student-centered activities to bring invaluable benefits to students.
Finally, the SBI continues to be a leader in strengthening and promoting our small business community. Through the hundreds of significantly applicable research projects we support, the numerous student-led consulting projects, and the countless professional development and expert consulting provided to and by our members, it is clear that our mission is being carried out.
I encourage everyone to explore our website to examine the many benefits the SBI provides, get involved with the SBI and its members, and of course plan to be in New Orleans next year to experience the endless benefits provided by the Small Business Institute®.
Timothy C. Dunne, Ph.D.
President, The Small Business Institute®