A new program in the Seidman College of Business is pairing students with area small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them develop or strengthen their businesses.
The program is called LendGR, offered through the DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). Students provide 25 hours of work for each client, helping with business plan writing, branding, social media, marketing materials, market research and web content. The program is free for clients; students are paid by CEI.
Shorouq Almallah, director of CEI, said the program serves West Michigan startups, micro and small businesses that are in the early stages of business with limited access to capital and resources.
LendGR started as a pilot program more than a year ago, but Almallah said once COVID-19 hit, the program refocused to offer clients emergency assistance.
"Many business leaders are having to repurpose their companies, utilize different business models and explore different markets," she said. "Services offered by our students can help fill some of those gaps and help entrepreneurs put together new business plans or provide extensive market research and data to help them pivot into new opportunities and markets."