MBA students provide guidance to small businesses
The 2012-13 team of MBA students is ready to be challenged by local businesses. | Photo by David Nuff.
Entrepreneurs looking to launch or expand their business, or simply in need of some advice, might consider booking an appointment with Concordia's Small Business Consulting Bureau.
The 2012-13 team of MBA students -- Noor Almarestani, Rana Beiruti, Nefi Falabella, David Lemieux, and Tara Walker -- brings almost 30 years of real-world experience from various industries, including investment banking, marketing, human resource management, architecture, and the non-profit sector.
The bureau has been in existence for 28 years under the mentorship of A. Bakr Ibrahim, professor of management at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB). The non-profit organization provides professional business consulting services to organizations in the Greater Montreal area using a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approach to solving individualized client needs.
"Our clients count on us to help them with real business challenges," explains Almarestani. "These aren't case studies; our work has an impact on our clients' business, so we are driven to provide well-researched and considered analysis that will support their success,"
With services ranging from primary market research to start-up business plans and human resources development plans, the bureau aims to position itself as an invaluable resource for local small business owners and entrepreneurs.
“The business education we are getting at JMSB gives us a broad set of skills that help us efficiently tackle the variety of projects we work on at the bureau,” says Falabella. "Whether we are helping new entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground or supporting decision-making at Concordia University or an NGO with our research, we're drawing on all of our MBA training and critical thinking skills to deliver our best work."
While the bureau aims to provide thorough analysis and comprehensive recommendations at competitive fees, it also provides its student members with invaluable real-world consulting experience. The benefits, in other words, are mutual.
As they work on developing strategies for their clients, the bureau's student members also receive expert instruction and advice from JMSB's faculty members, including Ibrahim.
"The consulting bureau has been an excellent training ground for our graduate students," explains Ibrahim. "The initiative has evolved over the years to serve both the university and the business community, but it remains one of the best learning experiences offered at JMSB for our students."
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Concordia Small Business Consulting Bureau at 514-848-2424 ext. 7593, or by email at
Posted September 4, 2012