The UNM Small Business Institute (SBI) at the Anderson School of Management is now accepting applications for the spring semester to help small business owners create business, expansion, and marketing plans. The institute also helps businesses in conducting market research, financial analysis, and strategic review of their operations.

There are a limited number of openings available each semester for graduate and undergraduate students, guided by Anderson School faculty advisors, to provide consulting services to small business owners in the Albuquerque area.

During the fall semester, UNM students worked with 22 businesses, ranking Anderson as the nation's second most active student consulting service. The cost to local business clients is $500; a modest fee considering private consulting services can cost hundreds of dollars an hour.

"This group of students was fascinating to work with, and had excellent feedback ending with a top-notch presentation," said SBI client Julie Ismari-Crawford. "As the owner of Jobflikz, I had great satisfaction from this experience, and would highly recommend this program."

The student consultations are provided as a community service, and the $500 fee covers expenses associated with the project, such as travel, printing and binding. Business owners must also commit to meeting with the students at least six times during the semester and provide feedback at the end of the semester.

Since its founding in 1978, SBI has successfully helped more than 600 businesses including startup companies, expanding businesses, non-profit organizations, and family businesses, and it continues to grow.

"We have a much smaller economic zone with significantly less business entities compared to other universities," says Dr. Raj Mahto, director of the SBI. "However, I am sure we will become the nation's leader in student consultations sometime next year."

Small business owners can apply online at Small Business Institute before the Dec. 24 deadline. Space is limited. For more information contact SBI Coordinator David Hammitt at (505) 277.8869 or e-mail,