The University of New Mexico’s Small Business Institute at the Anderson School of Management announced today that it received a $15,000 grant from Bank of America to help expand the number of businesses it serves. Each year, the Small Business Institute provides approximately 100 small businesses in New Mexico consulting services for their business needs. This funding will help the Small Business Institute increase the number of businesses served, many of which are on waiting lists to participate in this program.

The Anderson School of Management’s Small Business Institute was established in 1978 to support small businesses in New Mexico through affordable consulting. Graduate and undergraduate students, guided by faculty members, provide consulting services to businesses ranging from business plans and market research to human resources and strategy. The Small Business Institute charges a $500 fee, with scholarships available for veterans and non-profit organizations.

“Ninety-five percent of businesses in New Mexico are considered small businesses – many of which do not have the expertise or capital to develop the plans, policies or controls necessary to ensure financial success and growth,” says Craig White, Interim Dean for The Anderson School of Management. “The Institute helps small businesses succeed and, in turn, our students have the opportunity to use their skills in real-world situations.”

In 2013, more than 200 students (54 undergraduate and 156 MBA’s) participated in the program, gaining real-world business experiences that prepare them to start and manage their own small firms. In some cases, the businesses that have participated in the Small Business Institute have hired their student consultant after graduation.

“The Small Business Institute is truly unique in serving both the existing small business community with technical training and the university’s business school students with hands-on career practice. We know that having the right counsel and training can make all the difference in helping people be successful in a highly competitive workforce,” said Michael Rodriguez, New Mexico state president, Bank of America.  “Bank of America’s workforce development grants support these types of highly impactful programs as a way to help generate sustainable employment and ultimately advance financial longevity.”

Small businesses account for more than 50 percent of private sector jobs in the state, with over 44,000 small businesses in Albuquerque alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 66 percent of new businesses remain in existence two years after their founding and only 44 percent after four years.

“We typically receive more applications from businesses than we can support, so some businesses are put on a waiting list,” said Stacy Sacco, Director of the Small Business Institute. “Thanks to this funding from Bank of America, we will be able to increase the number of businesses served, helping more of our small businesses succeed and helping our community and economy grow.”